Over recent decades co-management has become an increasingly popular form of governance reform in many developing countries. Viewed as a means of promoting sustainable and equitable management of natural resources, it has seen wide application in small-scale inland fisheries. However, perhaps because of its worthy credentials, there has been insufficient critical assessment of the results. This paper commences with a review of underlying theory which is then used to explore the reasons for failure of a co-management initiative in Sri Lankan reservoir fisheries between 2001 and 2002.
The Adaptive Collaborative Management of Fisheries Training workshop was held in Sekondi, Western Region of Ghana as part of the project “Integrated Coastal and Fisheries Governance Initiative” locally referred to as “H n Mpoano”.
Where natural resources are a key component of the rural economy, the ability of the poor to realize their visions for the future depends significantly on institutional structures that govern resource access and management. This case study reports on an initiative on the shores of Lake Kariba in Zambia, where lakeshore residents face competition over fishing, tourism, and commercial aquaculture.
The Java Sea is a major fishing ground in Indonesia contributing 31% of the national marine fisheries production. Demersal and small pelagic fishery resources account for most production in the area. During the 1960s and 1970s, strong demand for fish, which in Indonesia resulted from both increased human population and increased per capita fish consumption, stimulated the development of fishing in the Java Sea. This led to development of up-stream and down-stream industries, increases in employment opportunities, and increases in the number of fishers and fishing households.
Early efforts to apply the concept of fisheries co-management in Southeast Asia focused primarily on building the effectiveness of local management institutions and advocating the merits of the approach so that it would be applied in new sites, while gradually learning and adapting to a range of obstacles in practice. Today, with co-management widely embraced by the research community and adopted as policy by an increasing number of governments, a second-generation perspective has emerged.
The Third National Fisheries Governance Dialogue was a direct follow up on the Second National Fisheries Governance Dialogue held in Elmina in April 2012. It was agreed at the Second dialogue that co-management was the way forward for sustaining Ghana’s fisheries and that its success would depend on a supportive legal framework.
This paper discusses fisheries management reforms through involving local level institutions (LLFI). It is based on studies which were undertaken on Tanzania’s Lake Victoria fishery where LLFIs were established through the formation of Local enforcement Units, later named Beach Management Units (BMU), between 1998 and 2002. The paper takes the view that the overfishing problems that confront Tanzania’s fisheries management authorities are best understood from a social science perspective. The argument is that most communities’ values and institutions are embedded in their societies.
Rural households who fail to gain a voice in decisions over the management of shared forests, pasturelands, wetlands and fisheries face heightened risks to their livelihoods, particularly as competition increases between existing and new user groups. Exclusion from decision-making increases vulnerability of rural households, making it more difficult for them to move out of poverty and thwarting broader efforts to achieve sustainable resource management. Poor rural women in particular often face institutionalized barriers to effective participation in resource management.
Lake Victoria fisheries face severe environmental stresses. Stocks are declining in a context of increasing population and growing demand for the lake’s resources. Rising competition between users is putting conservation goals and rural livelihoods at risk. While Uganda’s co-management policy framework is well-developed, key resources for implementation are lacking, enforcement is poor, and the relations between stakeholders are unequal. Poor rural resource users face significant challenges to effectively participate in fisheries decision-making.
The marine fisheries sector in Malaysia contributes significantly to the national economy in terms of income, foreign exchange and employment. In 1999, marine fisheries contributed 1.245 million t (90% of total fish production) valued at US$1.18 billion. The total value accounted for about 1.53% of national GDP and 11.31% of agricultural GDP. The export of fish and fishery products amounted to about US$210 million. The sector provided employment to about 80 000 fishers. Fisheries management is currently guided by the Third National Agricultural Policy (NAP3 1998 - 2010).