Co-management has attracted considerable attention around the world, including in Vietnam. However, debates on the concept of community-based management (CBM), co-management (COM), and community participant management in Vietnam are increasing, and the abundance of projects in Vietnam has now become a major constraint. Although most pilot co-management projects are recorded as “successful”, it is important to note that this evaluation was not made by an independent external agency, but the staff of the projects themselves! More important, there has been no consideration of how these co-management projects can be connected to traditional fishing villages in Vietnam. Since 2006, supported by the DANIDA-funded FSPS II project, a review of fisheries co-management models in Vietnam has been conducted, using a participatory approach. In this paper I provide a review of fisheries co-management in Vietnam, and highlight a comparison of present fisheries co-management with the traditional fishing village Van Chai. Initial findings demonstrate that in Vietnam these pilot co-management models were successful in terms of protection and development of fisheries resources, and the sharing of management power between government and community has occurred at different levels. However, most co-management models are not sustainable, owing to their being donor-driven rather than based on community needs. More important, owing to a lack of a concrete foundation and cohesion, and without including the inherited values of the traditional fisheries management unity, Van Chai, it could never be reasonably expected that fisheries co-management projects in Vietnam could be completely successful
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