Project Dates

01/07/2003 - 07/02/2020


Competition between users of fisheries resources is common, although not necessarily a source of conflict. Internal fishery disputes may arise over the allocation of fish resources, the division of fishery benefits, or management arrangements. External conflicts may arise with competing users, such as aquaculture and tourism. Deeper social and political struggles may also be reflected in fishery conflicts. Conflicts all too often disadvantage poor fishers, with the potential for conflict growing with greater poverty levels, as fishers compete for scarce resources. Unseen conflicts are a serious limitation on fair access and use of resources.

Previous project R7334 identified a number of institutional needs to reduce conflict. Further adaptive research will promote the uptake of methods for understanding and resolving conflict.


The project tested, adapted and promoted methods for assessing and understanding conflict developed under FMSP project R7334, and consensus-building methodologies for participatory action developed under NRSP project R7562.

The conflict assessment methods and typology developed previously were tested in two case study sites each in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India. Conflicts were assessed through interviews, group discussions and multi-stakeholder workshops.

The consensus building methods, Participatory Action Plan Development (PAPD), were tested in Bangladesh and India. Training for project partners in using PAPD as a consensus building tool was conducted in Bangladesh, and tested in India.

The project also developed a communications strategy to reach policy makers and practitioners. Under this output, it developed a communications framework for fisheries conflicts (FishCom), as a tool for developing plans and strategies for managing conflicts, which was tested at the case study locations.


The project produced three main products.

1 Fisheries Conflicts Communication Framework (FishCom) (see Section 3.1 of FTR): a tool for managing fisheries conflicts, which can be tested and adapted by groups of fisheries stakeholders. The framework encompasses four main steps: information gathering; communication planning and strategy; implementation of communication interventions; and attitude change measurement. The framework ensures that actions and decisions arising from participatory activities have a good chance of being taken up by relevant stakeholders.

2 Draft PAPD-Based Consensus Building Tool: A Facilitator's Guide:

3 Draft Policy Brief on Managing Fisheries Conflicts: Communication and Consensus Building in South and Southeast Asia, which compiles and evaluates policy lessons learned.

Uptake of these outputs is expected to result in improved policies and practices for the functioning of existing institutions, greater participation by fishers in planning, and reduced levels of conflict affecting fishers, particularly poor people dependent on fisheries.