Myanmar is a coastal nation located in Southeast Asia, bordered by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It has some of the world’s most diverse and abundant marine resources, with over 800 species of fish and several protected areas. These resources, however, are threatened by a range of human activities, including illegal fishing, overfishing, and environmental degradation. To protect these valuable resources, Myanmar must ensure that it implements and enforces effective maritime laws and security measures.
Overview of Myanmar Maritime
Myanmar is a coastal country located in Southeast Asia, bordered by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. It has a total coastline of 1,930 kilometers and a maritime area of nearly 275,000 square kilometers in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. The country’s rich marine resources include over 800 species of fish, mollusks, and crustaceans, making it one of the most diverse marine environments in the world. Myanmar also has several protected areas, such as the Irrawaddy dolphin sanctuary, which are important for the preservation of biodiversity.
Myanmar Maritime Law of the Seas
Myanmar is a signatory to several regional and international maritime laws and conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Under this convention, Myanmar has the right to establish a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) within which it has exclusive rights to the exploration and exploitation of marine resources. In addition, Myanmar is a signatory to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), which provides protections to highly migratory species such as whales, dolphins, and sharks.
Myanmar Maritime Security
Myanmar is also party to the UN Convention on the Safety of Maritime Navigation (COLREGs), which sets out the general rules for navigation at sea. This convention helps to ensure the safety of vessels and crews, and to protect against illicit activities such as piracy and armed robbery at sea. In addition, Myanmar is a member of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). This agreement provides a framework for the coordinated response of participating countries to incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the region.
Challenges Facing Myanmar Maritime
Despite the important laws and conventions that have been put in place to protect Myanmar’s maritime resources, the country is still faced with a range of challenges. Illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a major threat to the sustainability of Myanmar’s marine resources. Overfishing and destructive fishing practices are also major issues, as are environmental degradation and pollution. These issues, if not combated, will continue to threaten the long-term sustainability of Myanmar’s marine resources.
Regulatory Mechanisms for Myanmar Maritime
In order to combat these threats, Myanmar has introduced a number of regulatory mechanisms. These include a national plan of action against IUU fishing that was approved by the Myanmar government in 2020, as well as a national policy on sustainable fishing which sets out measures to promote responsible fishing practices. In addition, Myanmar has recently introduced a Maritime Surveillance System, which allows the government to monitor the movement of vessels in the country’s territorial waters.
The Future of Myanmar Maritime
The future of Myanmar’s maritime resources will depend on the country’s ability to effectively implement and enforce the laws and regulations that are in place. Myanmar must continue to invest in its maritime surveillance capabilities and impose strict penalties for IUU fishing and other illegal activities. It must also continue to promote sustainable fishing practices and ensure that its marine resources are managed in a way that is sustainable for future generations.
Myanmar has the potential to be a leader in marine conservation and sustainable fisheries management in the region. To achieve this, it is essential that the country continues to invest in its maritime laws and security measures, and adopts an integrated approach to the management of its marine resources. With the right measures in place, Myanmar can ensure that its marine resources are managed sustainably for the benefit of its people and the environment.