River fisheries in Africa: their relationship to flow regimes

River fisheries in Africa are important because of their contribution of animal protein to human diets. Such fisheries are highly dependent on hydrological regimes and show considerable year-to-year variation in response to natural climatic events. River flow regimes are being increasingly altered by withdrawals by man, principally for agriculture. The modification of hydrological regimes is leading to diminishing catches of fish and changes in the number and size of the species caught. Given that the trend to remove water from rivers for agriculture and power generation will continue, better appraisals of the impacts of such withdrawals are urgently needed so the policies for water allocation can be better defined. The development of tools to aid in such decision-making is equally important.


Welcomme, R.L. (2003)
NAGA 26(3): 22-26