Against the backdrop of the Shan Hills, Inle Lake fishermen, have a curious and unique rowing style, which consists of standing on one leg on the extreme of the boat and wrapping their other leg around the oar. The reason for this way of paddling is because there are many reeds and water plants in the lake, and if they row sitting down in the boat they can’t see them. Standing on the end of the boat they have a great view and can lead the way better. Also, they have their hands free to collect the fishing net whilst propelling the boat.
Overfishing on Myanmar’s coastline and damage to marine life cannot be estimated.
Along western Myanmar’s coastline thousands of people make their living from fishing. Crews of fishermen prepare to spend a night at sea as they sort through nets and ropes. A night on the water, however, could mean running into one of the many commercial and foreign fishing boats that operate in the area. The local fishermen’s complaint is their inability to compete with the foreign boats.
Overfishing on Myanmar’s coastline and damage to marine life cannot be estimated. However, there seems to be hope on the horizon for local fishermen, as Myanmar attempts to ease overfishing, by banning foreign fishing vessels from its waters. Fishing companies also have to reduce their operations by 35 percent during April and May to allow fish stocks to replenish. Enforcement of the new rule is something only the government can ensure. Another growing epidemic in Myanmar is dynamite fishing. This practice of detonating bombs at night in the water destroys the seabed and sterilizes the sea for at least three years, killing every single fish, mollusk, coral and plant in a radius of 3 nautical miles.
The Government of Myanmar could greatly help the fishing community by facilitating the development of the tourist and diving industry. The more stakeholders that are interested in protecting the environment, the more likely the practice will be reported and tackled by the authorities.