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Pilot project: Introduction of alternative income generating activities for livelihood diversification for fishing dependent communities on the Islands of the three riparian States of Lake Victoria

GCP/RAF/466/EC SmartFish Project












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    Assessment of IUU activities on Lake Victoria 2012
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    Fishing all over the world is a major source of food for humanity and a provider of employment and economic benefits to those engaged in the activity. However, with increased knowledge and the dynamic development of fisheries, it should be known that world living aquatic resources, although renewable, are not infinite and need proper management, if their continued contribution to the nutritional, economic and social well-being of the growing world’s population is to be sustained. Lake Victoria i s Africa’s largest and most important inland water body with a total water surface area of 68,800km2. Lake Victoria contributes significantly through its fishery and generation of electricity to the economic benefits of not only the riparian states, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, but also to the neighboring countries and the world at large. Lake Victoria is arguably the most important single source of freshwater fish on the African continent, contributing significantly to national and regional econ omies and livelihoods of the regions inhabitants. Although not often associated with inland fisheries, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and the trade of illegal fish has threatened the biological, social, financial and cultural integrity of the lakes resources and those that depend on them. Given that Lake Victoria’s living resources are shared amongst the three riparian states, a regional fisheries body, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) was formed in 1994 though the technical assistance of the FAO to manage the fisheries resources in Lake Victoria as a single ecological entity. Within the LVFO mandate, the identified areas of IUU fishing are considered in the form of: Illegal or misuse of fishing gears; illegal fishing, fish landing, processing and trading; unregulated fishing number of boats, fishers and gears (capacity); unregulated, unreported or undocumented domestic and regional fish trade; fishing and landing undersize fish in undesignated landing sites; and fishing during closed seasons or in the closed breeding areas or critical habitats. The decline of Nile perch stocks suggest that fisheries management and compliance structures within the three riparian states and at LVFO at the moment are at various levels of disarray, hence allowing IUU fishing to continue thriving unabated. Since the introduction of Nile perch into Lake Victoria in the 1950’s it has been the focus of an intensifying commercial fishery. In 1980, a total of 4 439 to ns of Nile perch were harvested, a decade later over 338 115 tons of Nile perch were landed annually. From 2000 to 2010, and average of 253 404 tons of Nile perch are caught. Despite relatively consistent landings reported by the LVFO, total biomass of Nile perch decreased from 1.4 million tons (92% of total biomass in Lake Victoria) in 1999 to it lowest recorded estimate of 298 394 tons in 2008 (14.9% of total biomass in Lake Victoria). Currently, as of 2010, the Nile perch biomass was estimate d at 18% of total biomass in Lake Victoria, which equates to 367 800 tons. Although a slight increase in biomass between 2008 and 2010 was observed, Nile perch biological indicators suggest that the fish is in a critical survival state. The average size of Nile perch has decreased from 51.7 cm TL to 26.6 cm TL, according to hydro acoustic surveys suggesting that a significant portion of total Nile perch biomass is less than 50 cm TL (legal size for export). It was reported by the LVFO stock asse ssment team that in 2006 and 2008, less than 2% of the Nile perch biomass was in fact greater than 50 cm TL. The size at first maturity of male and female Nile perch is also decreasing, this common amongst fish populations that are stressed (or overexploited). Despite the biological indicators, which suggest legal size Nile perch are less than 2% of total Nile perch biomass, the average number of fishermen increased by 33% between 2000 and 2008. During the same period, Frame survey and MCS compl iance missions noted a marked increase in the number of illegal gears being deployed to target undersize Nile perch. The number of vessels increased by 37% and the use of outboard engines increased by approximately 50%. It has been reported that motorized boats are more efficient, catching about 25 kg of fish per day, compared to 10 kg caught by non-motorized vessels. The increase in use of illegal gears, motorized vessels and fishermen suggests that fishing for Nile perch is still profitable. P reviously driven by lucrative export prices for Nile perch, fishers now target undersize illegal Nile perch for the lucrative domestic and regional trade, which is estimated to exceed the export trade by volume and value. This shift in fishing for undersize Nile perch will effect government revenues earned from the export fishery. The Nile perch fishery over the last decade contributed 0.6% less to the Tanzanian GDP, similarly, a decrease in export trade of Nile perch from Uganda of 14% occurred between 2007 and 2008, resulting in a 0.1% decrease in GDP contribution. By not controlling fishing effort targeting illegal, undersized and immature Nile perch, economic and social hardships will worsen. Current fisheries management both regionally through the LVFO, and nationally amongst the riparian states is inadequate, with respect to Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS). MCS is a collection of activities and tools intended to support fisheries management in fighting IUU fishing, and forms the framework on which accurate, informative and dynamic fisheries management decisions can be made. MCS is critical at all levels of fisheries management. Within the Lake Victoria region, co-management has been implemented through the establishment of Beach Management Units (BMU’s). A BMU is a community-based organization, which is legally accepted as a representative of a fishing community and is mandated on a voluntary basis to engage in MCS initiatives. Lake Victoria has 1 087 registe red BMU’s according to the harmonized BMU guidelines, agreed upon amongst the member states and the LFVO. Although the inclusion of community based management and MCS is critical in contributing to effective management of Lake Victoria’s fisheries resources, many challenges exist, including amongst others; geographical isolation of fishing communities, social issues (families of BMU members may partake in illicit activities), political interference (revenue collections, or election voting), corr uption, conflict of interests (BMU members are often fishmongers and fish traders) and lack of representation in higher management committees. Although advances in MCS technology have revolutionized fisheries management amongst many ESA-IO countries, the sharing of regional resources and capacity is fragmented and not effectively harnessed by the LVFO. Database management systems are not working effectively, data collecting, analyzing and dissemination are unreliable and time inefficient, respec tively and appropriate MCS tools for example net gauges are not available. The RWG-MCS reported that between 2004 and the end of 2008, a total of 4 605 suspects were apprehended, 12 126 beach seines, 9 550 small seine nets, 27 703 monofilament nets, 248 843 kilograms of immature Nile perch (249 tons) and 254 589 illegal gillnets were confiscated. These data are unreliable; furthermore they were not quantified in terms of definition of the item (how long were the nets that were confiscated 80 met er, or one kilometer, this has a profound effect on CPUE), of financial loss to fishers and traders versus the opportunity costs of MCS. The valve of court fines are insignificant especially if one considers the amount of uncontrolled fishing effort, uncontrolled illegal gears used in Lake Victoria, and the increasing value in the trade of immature fish on domestic markets. Also, there is no indication as to whether the court penalties and fines imposed on the same offences in the three partner states have any reference to the same severity across the region, or are recycled back into MCS initiatives. It is therefore difficult to determine whether the RWG-MCS interventions from 2004 to the end of 2008 were beneficial, as little to no comparative data exists. The LVFO depends highly on donor funds to support MCS and management initiatives, including training, capacity building and technical expertise. When donor funds are not available, regional MCS stagnates, which is a major concern. Operation Save the Nile perch is one such example. The EAC Council of Ministers in 2009 launched the ‘Operation Save the Nile Perch’ (OSNP), which required each of the three member states to contribute US$ 600 000. The goal of the initiative was to target illegal fishing and to curb the trade in undersize Nile perch currently threatening the economic integrity of Lake Victoria. The target of OSNP, as ratified by the Council of Ministers was to have fisheries illegalities in the lake, based on th e 2008 frame survey data as bench mark, reduced by 50% in June and 100% by December 2009. Currently as of 2011, Kenya has paid the required funds, with Tanzania only contributing 31% and Uganda zero resulting in less than half of the required funds paid in by from the member states. This undermines the legitimacy of ‘Operation Save the Nile Perch’ and political will and MCS operational capacity. The aim of this report was to assess the state of IUU in Lake Victoria, and to support the SMARTFISH programme in assisting the LVFO and established MCS committees to implement joint regional MCS trainings, by conducting a short cost benefit analysis of enhancing existing regional MCS initiatives and by evaluating past and present regional action plans to deter IUU fishing on Lake Victoria. An action plan was developed through a participatory workshop between the LVFO, national states and the MCS-RWG, held in Jinja, Uganda from the 5th to the 7th of October 2011.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Artisanal fisheries income diversification study: eco-tourism and recreational fisheries 2012
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    1. The income diversification study focusing on eco-tourism and recreational fisheries was completed between December 2011 and March 2012. 2. The consultant, Mr Simon Diffey, visited four case-study countries in the ESA-IO regionduring December 2011 and January 2012 - Pemba Island, Zanzibar; Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe; Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar and Rodrigues Island, Mauritius. 3. The state of the recreational fishery and aquatic related ecotourism industry is highly variable in the countries visit ed – from emerging in Pemba Island to highly developed (but in recent years under-utilised) on Lake Kariba. 4. Ile Sainte Marie and Rodrigues Island have a generally well developed tourism sector with potential for developing more marine/fisheries related eco-tourism. 5. The study concludes that there is a general lack of readily available data (in-country) on the value of and participation in recreational fisheries and associated aquatic related eco-tourism activities. Economic research on the value of some of these eco-tourism related industries is recommended to help inform the policy decision making process and improve sector governance. 6. Landings in the artisanal sector are generally in decline due to over-fishing with limited control in most countries visited. There is therefore need for fisheries MCS capacity building within the artisanal sector in all of the countries visited. Support for strengthening community based enforcement is recommended. 7. Further research is needed on the use of FADs (and artificial reefs) to potentially move artisanal fishing effort offshore and support recreational fisheries development. 8. Both Pemba Island and Ile Sainte Marie are in need for FADs. Lessons can be learnt from existing FAD operations around Rodrigues Island. 9. There is a need for awareness-raising of environmental issues amongst the fisher communities. This is particularly the case when introducing new technology or techniques to fishing communities. 10. Future project interventions should be sensitive to the involvement of women in fisheries and the cultural norms that can be expected in each country. 11. Sector study research is needed to improve development planning and governance issues. The recent VCA work completed on Rodrigues Island should be repeated in other areas of the region. 12. The study recommends supporting existing eco-tourism related projects or projects already conceived but not yet funded (rather than conceiving new projects) 13. Five proj ect concept notes are recommended for funding: • A socio-economic project on Pemba Island (provisional budget €13,259) • Two EIAs for aquaculture projects on Lake Kariba (€10,086 and €5,827 respectively) • A sport fishery economic research project on Lake Kariba (€6,595) • An agro-tourism project on Ile Sainte Marie, which has potential to include marine eco-tourism related activities (€16,210) 14. Outline ToR has been prepared for an economic research consultancy focusing on the whale-watching industry around Ile Sainte Marie (28 person-days of input) and for a fisheries eco-tourism capacity building (business planning) input on Rodrigues Island (22 person-days of input). 15. The proposed economic research on the Lake Kariba sport fishery could be broadened and a VCA for the whole sector prepared. Alternativelythe research on the economics of the sport fishery could be combined with the proposed valuation of the whale-watching industry (on Ile Sainte Marie). 16. A detailed alternative livelihoods action plan has been prepared for the SEMPA region on Rodrigues Island. There are some short term priority objectives within this action plan that the SmartFish Programme could support. 17. A one-year alternative livelihoods project proposal has been prepared for the SEMPA region on Rodrigues Island and submitted to GEF for funding (total project costs €43,537 of which the funding requested was €35,521). Funding for this project should be considered if this project has not yet been launched. 18. Linkages to the MCS and governance components of the SmartFish Programme were identified which merit further investigation.
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    Book (series)
    Livelihood and micro-enterprise development opportunities for women in coastal fishing communities in India – Case studies of Orissa and Maharashtra. 2007
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    The studies on livelihood and micro-enterprise development opportunities for women in coastal fishing communities in India are a follow-up to the national workshop on best practices in microfinance programmes for women in coastal fishing communities in India, held in Panaji, Goa, India, from 1 to 4 July 2003. The proceedings and outcomes of the workshop are reported in FAO Fisheries Report No. 724. The studies found that poverty has remained a serious problem in fishing communities in Orissa and Maharashtra, made even more severe by the widespread absence of rural infrastructure and services such as safe drinking water, electricity, waste and sewage disposal facilities, health care and educational services and facilities, all-weather link roads as well as a lack of adequate housing facilities. Over the last two decades, fishing effort and the cost of fishing have considerably increased. Over the same period, a diversification of livelihoods of fisherfolk households has taken place, and many household members, particularly women, are now working part-time as unskilled agricultural labourers or construction workers. In recent years, through the efforts of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the marine wing of the Fisheries Department of Orissa and the initiative of other government departments, many women self-help groups (SHGs) and cooperatives have been formed and training has been provided to their members in the field of fish processing an d marketing. Only a minority of the SHGs and cooperatives in Maharashtra and Orissa though, which have been formed in fishing communities, have so far been linked to financial institutions and there is a severe lack of rural fish storage and processing infrastructure and facilities. The findings of the studies suggest that through actively promoting self-help groups and cooperatives among women in coastal fishing communities and through linking these associations with financial insti tutions, investment and working capital needs of their members can be met. To make the best use of capital inputs, SHGs and their federations need vocational and enterprise development training from NGOs and from fisheries training and research institutions as well as assistance for establishing links to new market outlets for their products, both domestically and for export. The state-level workshops in Orissa and Maharashtra made specific recommendations as to what kind of assistance i s needed so that poverty in coastal fishing communities can be reduced and livelihoods improved and diversified through micro-enterprise development and microfinance and training support.

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