Local perceptions on the state of the pelagic fisheries and fisheries management in Uvira, Lake Tanganyika, DR Congo

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Abstract

The fisheries of Lake Tanganyika play an important role in food security in Central and Eastern Africa. Conservation of these valuable fish stocks will benefit from documenting the ideas, opinions and observations of stakeholders. Knowledge of the perceptions and an understanding of the concerns and struggles of stakeholders of these fisheries can provide policy-makers with recommendations for more suitable fisheries management. We did 1018 interviews with stakeholders, in one close-ended and three semi-open ended surveys. Factor analysis revealed seven clusters of opinions. Linear-mixed effects models identified common grounds and differences in opinions between groups of stakeholders about strategies in fisheries management. Stakeholders of the fisheries indicated challenges due to weather or climate variability, a noticeable decrease in fish abundance and size, and an increase in the price of fish. Fishermen experienced a lack of safety on the lake, including aggression and dangerous weather conditions, and hardly had access to safety gear and infrastructure. Landing site officials, state employees who monitor the beaches, mentioned capture of juveniles and declining catch-rates as the biggest threats to the fisheries. None of the groups of stakeholders attributed the problems in the fisheries to overfishing or overpopulation. We found similarities in opinions over a wide range of stakeholder groups, with many stakeholders asking for better and fair enforcement of existing legislation. State employees were more positive than the other groups towards creating more strict regulation of the fisheries. The results presented offer focuspoints for policy-makers to improve the management of the Lake Tanganyika pelagic fisheries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1740-1753
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Great Lakes Research
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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