Economy, Forestry and Fishing
timber extraction, sustainable yield, lacquerware, future supply, cutch
The forests of Myanmar are an important source of wealth, especially in teak and natural rubber. The timber extraction in 2000 was 22.6 million cu m (797 million cu ft). In the early 1990s the teak harvest along the border with Thailand, which had banned its own harvest in order to preserve the future supply, greatly exceeded the sustainable yield and the government had to cancel contracts with Thai loggers. Important tree products, in addition to rubber, are a sticky gum called lac, from which lacquerware is made, quinine, and cutch, the source of a dye.
Fish, including shrimp, are caught for local consumption and are a main source of protein in the diet. Freshwater fish are preferred, but the government is now encouraging saltwater fishing. In 1997 the total catch in the Indian Ocean was estimated at 643,231 metric tons. Much of that catch was caught by Thai trawlers.
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