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Opérations conjointes pour lutter contre la pêche INN au lac Victoria










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    Joint Operations in Lake Victoria to reduce IUU fishing 2014
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    Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, is arguably the most important single source of freshwater fish on the African continent, contributing significantly to national and regional economies and the livelihoods of an estimated three million inhabitants of the three countries bordering its shores, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Nile perch was introduced to the lake in the 1950s and increased in biomass to such an extent that it decimated the lake’s endemic fish community and became the most important fish species in the lake, forming the basis of a lucrative commercial fishery. The Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) was formed in 1994 to jointly manage the Lake’s fisheries resources on behalf of the three partner States, but nevertheless Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing have had a continued impact on Nile perch. Its Biomass peaked at around 2.3 million tonnes in 1999 and accounted for 92% of total fish biomass but fell to less than 300,000 tonnes in 2008. Moreover, the average length of Nile perch has declined from 51.7 cm to 26.6 cm, as recorded in 2008, significantly below the required minimum size of 50 cm for export.
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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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    Nile Perch Fishery Management Plan for Lake Victoria 2015-2019 2015
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    The Lake Victoria Nile perch (NP) fishery (fishing and post-harvest activities) is a significant contributor to the social and economic development of the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) Partner States (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda). The catch of NP has averaged 250 000 tonnes per annum for the last two decades. During the last decade, the fishery has faced serious problems of overcapitalisation and overfishing and high levels of non-compliance to regulations in the fishing and post-ha rvest sub-sectors. This has led to decreasing stock health resulting in an increased vulnerability of the resource base and suboptimal contribution of the fishery to the lake-side economies. A first specific Fishery Management Plan for the Nile perch Fishery (NPFMP1) covering the period 2009-2014 was developed in 2008 by LVFO. Other initiatives, both national and regional, aimed at reversing the Nile perch stock decline have also been promoted since 2008. The implementation of NPFMP1 and related initiatives has led to some progress in the management of the NP fishery; however gaps and weaknesses are still affecting the sustainability of the fishery and the full expression of social and economic benefits that could be derived from proper management of the fishery.

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