In many low-income countries with water resources, small fish species are important for the livelihoods, nutrition and income of the rural poor. The small size of fish favours frequent consumption by and nutrition of the rural poor, as these fish are captured, sold and bought in small quantities; used both raw and processed in traditional dishes; and are nutrient-rich. All small fish species are a rich source of animal protein, and – as they are eaten whole – have a very high content of bioavailable calcium. Some are rich in vitamin A, iron, zinc and essential fats.
Throughout Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) there is broad recognition that fisheries and aquaculture make vital contributions to economic development, government revenue, food security and livelihoods.
The CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) seeks to reduce poverty and improve food security for the millions of small-scale fishers and farmers who depend on the world’s floodplains, deltas and coasts. AAS combines more conventional approaches for introducing and scaling technical innovations, such as applied research and training, with approaches that foster innovation and promote institutional and policy change.
The important contribution of fi sheries to human well-being is frequently underestimated. This report highlights that contribution. The report focuses on small-scale fi sheries and developing countries because the livelihoods of 90 percent of the 120 million employed in fi sheries are in the small-scale fi sheries, and almost all of those workers, 97 percent, live in developing countries. Many small-scale fi shing communities have high levels of poverty, and poverty reduction is a core focus of the contributing partners to the report.
Aquatic agricultural systems in developing countries face increasing competition from multiple stakeholders over rights to access and use natural resources, land, water, wetlands, and fisheries, essential to rural livelihoods. A key implication is the need to strengthen governance to enable equitable decision making amidst competition that spans sectors and scales, building capacities for resilience, and for transformations in institutions that perpetuate poverty.
Zambia’s rivers, lakes and wetlands support extensive agriculture, fisheries and livestock production and contribute to the livelihoods of about 3 million people or 25% of the country’s population. These aquatic agricultural systems are particularly important to poor people and provide significant opportunities for agriculture-based economic growth. The majority (72%) of the Zambian population is engaged in agricultural activities, of which almost 65% are women. There is now widespread recognition of the importance of gender and development.
Solomon Islands has a population of just over half a million people, most of whom are rural-based subsistence farmers and fishers who rely heavily on fish as their main animal-source food and for income. The nation is one of the Pacific Island Counties and Territories; future shortfalls in fish production are projected to be serious, and government policy identifies inland aquaculture development as one of the options to meet future demand for fish.
Periodically-harvested fisheries closures are emerging as a socially acceptable and locally implementable way to balance concerns about conserving ecosystem function and sustaining livelihoods. Across the Indo-Pacific periodically-harvested closures are commonly employed, yet their contribution towards more sustainable fisheries remains largely untested in the social and ecological context of tropical small-scale fisheries.
The Republic of Kiribati is a vast South Pacific island group with one of the largest exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the world. Kiribati waters support a wealth of marine fisheries activities. These activities occur in oceanic, coastal and inshore environments and range from large, foreign, industrial-scale oceanic fishing operations to small-scale, domestic, inshore subsistence fisheries, aquaculture and recreational fisheries.
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.