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A review of major river basins and large lakes relevant to inland fisheries












Ainsworth, R., Cowx, I.G. and Funge-Smith, S.J. 2021. A review of major river basins and large lakes relevant to inland fisheries. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1170. Rome, FAO. Rome, FAO. 




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    Review of Tropical Reservoirs and Their Fisheries - The cases of Lake Nasser, Lake Volta and Indo-Gangetic Basin Reservoirs. 2011
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    Freshwaters contribute 15 percent of the world’s reported fish catch, or about 10.1 million tonnes in 2006, most of which comes from tropical systems. The true contribution of tropical inland fisheries is likely to be higher, as less than half of the inland capture production is actually reported. While reservoir fisheries are already an essential component of this production, the potential of most of them may even exceed their current catch levels. Opportunities exist to increase prod uctivity, provided that environmentally and socially sustainable management systems can be adopted. To realize this untapped potential, it is necessary to improve understanding of the processes influencing reservoir productivity in such a way as to involve both biological principles and stakeholder participation, as each reservoir has different properties and different research and management institutions. Seen in isolation, catch and productivity data of individual reservoirs may be difficult to interpret. The present technical paper attempts to address this issue by reviewing the knowledge accumulated in reservoirs in some very different tropical river basins: the Indus and Ganges/Brahmaputra Basin in India, the Nile River Basin in Eastern Africa and the Volta River Basin in West Africa. In particular, it focuses on many of the reservoirs of northern India and Pakistan in the Indus and Ganges systems, Lake Nasser in the Nile River and Lake Volta in the Volta R iver. Information collated from grey and published literature on the three basins is synthesized and standardized with reference to wider knowledge and up-to-date information on tropical reservoir fisheries. A considerable quantity of data and information were collected on many aspects of the systems of the three reservoirs, including hydrological, biophysical and limnological features, primary production, and fish and fisheries data. This information was condensed and synthesized wi th the aim of providing a baseline against which the ecological changes that have taken place since impoundment can be described and analysed. Efforts are made to explain changes in fish catch in relation to climatic variations, ecological succession and fishing effort. The review shows that biological data and information are generally available. However, as is also common elsewhere, all three cases suffer from the general tendency to isolate and compartmentalize research into separ ate disciplines. Usually, there is very limited cross-disciplinary flow of information or recognition of how results of various disciplines can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the behaviour of fish populations, human communities and ecosystems and the productive activities that depend on them. This uniform tendency severely hampered the identification of relevant management actions. A more pragmatic and holistic understanding of reservoir ecosystems is needed in order to guide the choice of indicators and the development of monitoring systems that can inform management of changes in reservoir productivity and, hence, the potential catch. The next step would be to devise a hierarchy of indicators describing the different ecological and economic processes influencing fisheries catches and to organize monitoring systems around those indicators. Only by combining information across sectoral disciplines will it be possible to reach a better unders tanding of the processes that drive fish stocks, fisheries and reservoir productivity.
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    Regional Conference on river habitat restoration for inland fisheries in the Danube River basin and adjacent Black Sea areas
    Conference proceedings, 13–15 November 2018, Bucharest, Romania
    2019
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    Inland waterway management is complex and faces unique challenges as inland waterways have a variety of users. The mixture and overlap of local, regional, national and at times international regulations exacerbate the problem of managing inland waterways. In this context, the regional conference ‘River habitat restoration for inland fisheries in the Danube River basin and adjacent Black Sea areas’ was held on 13-15 November 2018 in Bucharest, Romania. This event was organised by the FAO Regional office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with the International Organisation for the Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Europe (EUROFISH) and EIFAAC and hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Waters and Forests of Romania. This event offered a unique opportunity for stakeholders to share their experience of the issues affecting the sustainability of the Danube river and Black Sea regions. Over 100 attendees from local community level fisherman and farmers to academics, and national and EU level representatives interacted with to 27 invited speakers. Each speaker focused on one of four session subjects ‘Valuing Inland Fisheries Resources’, ‘Conservation and Management’, ‘Regulatory Framework’ and ‘Shared Country Experiences’. A round table discussion concluded the conference, with all participants invited to express their thoughts and discuss the issues affecting sustainability and inland fisheries in the Danube river basin and the Black Sea. The key findings from this concluding discussion have been complied into a list of conference recommendations included in this publication.
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    New approaches for the improvement of inland capture fishery statistics in the Mekong Basin. Ad-hoc expert consultation 2003
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    Inland capture fisheries make a valuable contribution to food security in many parts of the world, especially in the Mekong Basin. Many of the 60 million inhabitants living in the subregion engage in small-scale fishing or fish only part-time and represent some of the least empowered and poorest people in society. However, the contribution that inland fishery resources make to rural livelihoods is often unknown or underestimated due to a lack of basic production and consumption information. As a result, development activities may inappropriately focus on other sectors at the expense of rural communities that depend on inland fisheries. Accurate information on the contribution of inland fisheries is essential for responsible development. To address these concerns an ad-hoc expert consultation was convened on 2 to 5 September 2002 in Udon Thani, Thailand with the overall objective of improving the state of knowledge in inland capture fisheries in the subregion. A report of the meeting as well as country reviews, thematic papers and case studies are included.

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