Posted in Legislative Analysis, Political Institutions on Nov 05, 2019

This Bill was posted on the website of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw on 23th of September 2019.

Current Status (06.11.2019) – awaiting submission to Hluttaw for debate

Bill in brief

The Bill includes the processes for identifying fishing grounds, applying for fishery licences and issuance of fishery worker certificates, and includes various penalties for contravention.

Summary of main provisions

• The objectives are:

  • to support sustainable development of the fishery sector
  • to conserve marine ecosystems for fish
  • to support research and technology relating to fisheries

• The Bill gives the Department of Fisheries (DoF) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI) the responsibilities for setting policies and plans to fulfill the Bill’s objectives. This includes issuing announcements to designate areas of water as marine fisheries or as conservation waters.

• Licenses for fishing can be obtained from township DoF offices, as can licences for the transport of fish in inshore waters. District offices are to be responsible for licences for businesses that process fishery products. The Bill describes the various activities these licences allow. It also describes the various activities permitted for local and foreign entities in offshore waters. Other activities are permitted not with a licence but with a permit and recommendation.

• The DoF is responsible for accrediting training courses and issuing competency certificates for fishery workers who want to work on the foreign high-sea ships, to ensure their safety and be in line with the conventions of the International Maritime Organisation. It must allow only citizens, companies permitted under the Myanmar Companies Law and co-operative societies allowed by Co-operative Society Law to host these courses. Competency certificate holders can apply for fishery worker registration.

• The Bill also includes duties of fishery business-men and women, and owners and captains of fishing vessels.

• Local fishery workers can register with the township department by paying a fee, and establishing a group to conduct fishing. The group can set up a fund, and maintain and use it in accordance with financial rules. It can enjoy a priority to work in inshore waters.

• Those who violate regulations included in the licence or permit, or make a dishonest application for a licence and permit, or fail to comply with by-laws, orders or directives, can be punished by the officer-in-charge of department or the Department with administrative penalties. Those who are dissatisfied with the officer-in-charge of department can make appeal to the Department within 30 days and from there to the MoALI within 60 days. The MoALI has a final say.

• There is an imprisonment term of 6 months to 3 years, and a fine of between half a million MMK to 5 million MMK for conducting fishing or fish transporting without a licence in inshore waters.

• There is an imprisonment term between 1 and 3 years and a fine of between 1 and 10 million MMK for conducting fishing or fish transportation without a licence in offshore waters. But for foreigner and foreign companies permitted by Myanmar Companies Law, the imprisonment term is between 2 and 5 years and the fine between 5 and 50 million MMK.

• There are also other prohibitions and penalties in the bill.

Other relevant laws

Myanmar Territorial Sea and Maritime Zones Law 2017

Aquaculture Bill 2019

Co-operative Society Law 1992

Myanmar Companies Law 2017


Bill text

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982

Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Fishing Vessel Personnel, 1995

International Maritime Organisation


Moe Aung, The Ananda,