You are here

by EP Harrison, V Dzigirai, E Gandiwa, T Nzuma, B Masivele and HT Ndlovu in 2015

This policy brief argues that to progress community based natural resource management in Zimbabwe, emphasis needs to shift from decentralisation towards full devolution beyond the Rural District Councils (RDCs) alongside an increase in capacity of local-level institutions (including RDCs) to fulfil original roles and obligations. Transparency of community-based natural resource management processes is needed, including an equalling of power between the institutions of accountability and investors involved. Partnerships between central government, local government, communities, and investors are needed to ensure suitable and equitable communication is received by all parties. It is also vital to increase project emphasis on alleviating poverty and reducing the need for communities to focus solely on their survival so that they can be fully involved.

Policy Brief 35
by Mafaniso Hara in 2015

Fish is probably this cheapest type of protein for the poor and low income groups in Africa. There is great potential for growth in Africa regional fish trade, especially exports key from maritime producing states such as Mauritania, South Africa and Namibia to inland states. This potential is as a result of the effects of declining per capita fish supply among most inland states resulting from declining or stagnant production from inland fisheries against increasing fishing effort and human populations. Meanwhile some African maritime states have fish resources that are being under-utilised (for example red eye herring in South Africa) or being used for fishmeal production (for example in South Africa and Namibia) instead of human consumption. Such regional trade could improve fish protein supply and food security to the receiving states while financially benefitting the exporting states. In addition such imports could also help alleviate pressure on inland fisheries most of which are already under increasing pressure.
This paper explores the potential for increased Africa regional fish trade and the challenges thereof. It also suggests how these challenges could be overcome for mutual benefit of both exporting and importing countries. It mainly uses the SADC region as the case study area.

by Fiona Nunana, Mafaniso Hara, Paul Onyango in 2015

Institutions matter within natural resource management. While there are many examples of analyses of the nature and influence of institutions within fisheries, there are fewer examples of how institutions inform the practice and outcomes of co-management. This article reports on analysis of institutions and fisheries co-management in East African and Malawi inland fisheries informed by Critical Institutionalism. It concludes that relations between fisheries departments and local co-management structures, and between local government/traditional authorities and local co-management structures, and social, power, and gender relations within and beyond fisheries communities, particularly impact on the practice and outcomes of co-management.

by BN Tapela, PJ Britz, QA Rouhani in 2014
In this volume, case studies of small-scale fishing activity in 12 selected rural communities are presented. The case study methodology was were designed to provide the primary information required to address the project aim ‘to develop appropriate management processes and governance systems for inland fisheries in dams, including the roles and responsibilities of individual households, groups in rural villages and relevant authorities (at tribal, local, provincial and national level).” Small-scale fishing for livelihood purposes in some form was present on most (77%) of water bodies sampled. Most small-scale fishers are poor, but their livelihood strategies are diverse including:
• A primary livelihood of last resort;
• Part of a diversified semi-subsistence livelihood;
• A specialist occupation; and
• Part of a diversified accumulation strategy.
In certain localities, a significant daily income could be generated covering family living costs. All fish were sold fresh to local markets and/ or consumed by the fisher families. The value chain was short with no evidence observed of postharvest value addition. Rural community members also practised recreational fishing, and the fish caught was mainly consumed.
A strong sense of a “common pool resource” right was expressed by all local communities, despite varying levels of use by different parties, including outsiders. A variety of governance and management organisations were observed, including ‘no management’ (e.g. Nandoni and Masibekela), minimal management (Zeekoevlei, Middle Letaba), traditional institutions (Lake Fundudzi), blended government and traditional institutions (Makuleke), contested management (Pongola Dam, Voëlvlei, and Roodekoppies), state-led co- management (Flag Boshielo) and “top-down” management (Driekoppies). The case studies documented in this report illustrate that small scale fishing on inland waters is a widespread livelihood activity based on common pool resources, which has been marginalised by the lack of recognition of its socio-economic value, particularly as a food security safety net and economic opportunity net for rural communities. The testimonies of communities demonstrate that the lack of formal fishing rights for livelihood purposes perpetuates Apartheid and Colonial era legacies of inequity in resource access. The research results demonstrate that small-scale and recreational fisheries have the potential to support the creation of rural livelihoods and decent jobs, provided a policy with clear social and economic objectives is developed. Such a policy will have to be developmentally orientated, based on the historical disadvantage and lack of capacity experienced by rural communities.
Go to Volume 1
by PJ Britz, MM Hara, OLF Weyl, BN Tapela, QA Rouhani in 2014
South Africa’s inland fishery resource endowment has been overlooked as a means of supporting sustainable livelihoods in the democratic era, lacking a guiding policy and legislation aligned with the country’s rightsbased Constitution. The absence of an equitable inland fishing governance framework with defined use rights has resulted in growing unmanaged and unsustainable fishing practices, conflicts between resource users, and the perpetuation of Colonial- and Apartheid-era exclusion of rural communities from livelihood and economic opportunities linked to aquatic natural resources. In response to this problem, the Water Research Commission launched a solicited research project entitled “Baseline and Scoping Study on the Development and Sustainable Utilisation of Storage Dams for Inland Fisheries and their Contribution to Rural Livelihoods” to provide a knowledge base to inform the development of policy and institutional arrangements for inland fishery governance.
The study found that the relatively low production potential of South African inland water bodies precludes the development of industrial or large-scale commercial fisheries on inland waters. Recreational and small-scale subsistence and artisanal fishing for livelihoods purposes are thus the optimal forms of inland fishery utilisation for maximal socio-economic benefit.  From a fisheries management perspective, state and private hatcheries could enhance fishery production in specific circumstances such as 1) the re-stocking of temporary waters that dry up during periods of drought, 2) the stocking of trout in approved “green zoned” waters in terms of the NEMBA-AIS regulations and 3)for indigenous fish conservation purposes. It was recommended that there would be no point in stocking hatchery reared fish if 1) the target wild populations are self sustaining with adequate recruitment from natural spawning or 2) the target fishery or aquaculture enterprise is not economically viable or offers no food security or welfare benefit. A wider multi-purpose role for state hatcheries is recommended to support fishery and aquaculture development, including extension, training, environmental education, and research. The lack of public sector human capacity and skills to manage inland fisheries was identified as a primary constraint to the establishment of appropriate institutional and organisational structures to promote a developmental approach to inland fisheries based on co-management. The reasons for this are two-fold, arising from, firstly, the lack of a policy to manage inland fisheries as an economic sub-sector and livelihood activity, and secondly, modern fishery governance norms which have shifted dramatically over the last decade from a biological resource orientation to a user-centred one requiring new management skill sets. Human resource capacity building and skills requirements for government officials were assessed and training strategies and resources identified.
Go to Volume 2
Scoping Study on the Development and Sustainable Utilisation of Inland Fisheries