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Integrated Livelihood Support to Fishing Communities around Lake Victoria - TCP/UGA/3701








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    Book (series)
    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
    2013
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    The Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, under the implementation of a regional strategy for the Eastern and Southern African - Indian Ocean region program, is implementing a pilot project: ‘The Introduction of Alternative Income Generating Activities for Livelihood Diversification for Fishing Dependent Communities on the Islands of the Three Riparian States of Lake Victoria’. A baseline survey on vulnerability/livel ihood/poverty in all project target areas/groups was undertaken in June 2013. The purpose was to establish vulnerability indicators and livelihood/dependency/poverty patterns associated with selected self-help groups located on selected islands of Lake Victoria in the riparian countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The other objective was to identify potential alternative income generating activities that would reduce dependency on fishing and fish resources. The selected self-help groups and th eir respective beaches and islands are: Nyisiaya Women’s Group in Ndeda Beach, on Ndeda Island and USIA Youth Group in Mahanga, on Mageta Island (Kenya); Mpola Mpola at Gori, on Jagusi Island and Ddajje Star Group in Ddajje, on Buggala Island (Uganda); REEC/UPENDO in Ihumbo, on Bumbire Island and NEEMA Community Group in Igalula, on Ukerewe Island (Tanzania). The six self-help groups and respective fishing communities were interviewed by means of focus group discussions and personal interviews o n major areas of concern: group status; ownership of assets; access to services; vulnerability; income and expenditure; poverty and gender. The results show that the fisher communities are primarily concerned with, in order of priority: health; declining fish catches; safety on the lake; credit access, and education. The fishers acknowledge their high dependence on fish stating that during times of drought, market fluctuations and weather changes the communities are more vulnerable. They therefo re understand the need for diversification of income. The survey findings show that most self-help groups were formed to augment income, food and access to credit. The majority of the members of the self-help groups have access to land; semi-permanent housing; a few of their own livestock; two meals a day; no means of their own transport; no access to electricity; inadequate access to safe water; low savings; and little or no education. The study shows that food and education are the main expend iture items and there is little money available for diversification into non-fishery income generating activities. The different alternative income generating activities (IGAs) were proposed to supplement income, diversify sources of income and provide food. The IGAs include: crop farming, identified for food security and supplementary income for group members’ households; poultry farming for eggs and meat to generate income; cattle rearing for milk and meat to generate income and supplement die t; fish farming to diversify, generate income and reduce fishing pressure on Lake Victoria.  4 The next steps are to support the target groups technically and financially so that they can undertake the proposed IGAs to meet their respective goals. In line with the objectives of the project, the following activities will be undertaken:  Organize and facilitate a one-day validation meeting for at least 20 relevant stakeholders to present the results of the assessment and proposed work plans an d interventions at the premises of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization;  Capacity building of micro-project stakeholders and beneficiaries to sustain the initiative (business, marketing, management of micro-enterprises);  Carry out the livelihood diversification activities according to the work plans and detailed budget agreed;  Disseminate the preliminary results of the livelihood diversification activities through different media at the national level;  Organize and facilitate a final meeting at the national level for at least 20 relevant stakeholders to present the results of the poverty reduction activities and the proposed upscale/replication of interventions.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    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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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Caribbean billfish best use: food security time bomb, or untapped opportunity for sustainable foreign investment and tourism? 2020
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    A 2009 global assessment determined the Western Central Atlantic Ocean, which includes the Caribbean region, to be the most overfished region worldwide (FAO, 2011). This region’s overall harvests also fell from the 30 year average of 1.7 million tonnes, to an average of 1.4 over the last 10 years (Hoydal, 2016). Caribbean nations continue to develop their fisheries targeting large fish that live in open water, also known as pelagic fishes. These efforts typically try to replace harvest reductions from already overfished near shore fish stocks. However, the importance of already overfished billfish species stocks in supporting these fisheries is a regional concern threatening the future livelihoods and food security for millions of Caribbean citizens. Developing fisheries based on harvesting large pelagic fishes using long lines, purse seinne nets and Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) also capture many other species that are already unsustainably overfished. Billfish stocks cannot sustain such fishery developments in the long term, and more effective fishery management is urgently required on national and regional scales to ensure sustainability. This issue brief provides an overview of the key challenges affecting the billfish industry in the Caribbean and how FAO's Caribbean Billfish Project is helping to address those issues.

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