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Bujumbura, Burundi

Mwima H.K.,Lake Tanganyika Authority
Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management | Year: 2014

Factors considered necessary for effective environmental governance in large, transboundary lakes are presented. Institutional processes and governance structures are examined for three transboundary African lakes: Chad, Victoria and Tanganyika. Shortcomings in environmental governance for these lakes are: (i) inadequate linkages between science and policy and (ii) inadequate application of innovative, adaptive management approaches. Other shortcomings include: (i) untimely fulfillment of national and regional obligations by the riparian governments and (ii) lack of long-term sustainable financing mechanisms. Key recommendations for effective environmental governance are: linking scientific thinking and information to political decision making; investment in research and management; adoption and/or adaption of innovative management approaches; exchange of information and expertise; strategic partnerships; political commitment; long-term sustainable resource allocation; and development of mechanisms for addressing impacts of climate change and variability. Commitment to international conventions and sub-regional initiatives is also recommended for redressing environmental governance challenges for transboundary African lakes. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Van der Knaap M.,Food and Agriculture Organization | Katonda K.I.,Lake Tanganyika Authority | De Graaf G.J.,Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management | Year: 2014

From 1999 to 2011 some regions in the Lake Tanganyika Basin experienced humanitarian crises that displaced hundreds of thousands of people to neighboring countries. When relative calm returned to the region in 2008, an influx of displaced peoples and refugees returned to the lake seeking their ancestral fishing grounds. Well-meaning non-governmental organizations and United Nations-organizations donated fishing equipment to these returning people to aid their livelihood opportunities. These fishing programs, however, increased uncontrolled fishing effort on Lake Tanganyika beyond that of previous levels, resulting in decreasing fish catches. Increased monitoring of the fishery, therefore, became essential. In 2009, as a result of uncontrolled fishing effort due to the influx of returnees, inefficient national efforts to monitor their fisheries, and the observed decline of fishery resources, the four countries bordering Lake Tanganyika (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia) established a regional coordinating body called the Lake Tanganyika Authority to implement fisheries conservation and management measures in compliance with the Convention on the Sustainable Management of Lake Tanganyika. To inform and enable a fisheries monitoring program on Lake Tanganyika, the Authority conducted a lake-wide fisheries frame survey in 2011 to inventory the number of fishermen, fishing units and fisheries infrastructure around Lake Tanganyika. When comparing the 2011 frame survey with data from a similar survey conducted in 1995 (the two most extensive studies to date on Lake Tanganyika), results revealed troubling trends in fish capacity, including: an increase in illegal fishing gear, a doubling of the total number of fishermen and fishing units, and a decline in catch rates since 2002 (based on Burundi data which has been consistently collected). This article analyzes the trends of the Lake Tanganyika fishery, including: fishing effort, the changing uses of gear, and trends in employment in the fishery. Because of the observed increase of fishing capacity (e.g. the numbers of vessels, licenses and fishermen), this article addresses whether an effective fishery management program can be implemented on the lake. Past management efforts have been made from within the basin by the individual countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia), transnational organizations (Food and Agriculture Organization), and the Lake Tanganyika Authority. Using current notions of fishery management on large lakes in the region and ideas from a case study from Gambia, West Africa, this study suggests that effective fishery management on Lake Tanganyika requires the adoption of a formal Monitoring, Control & Surveillance system, community surveillance, an improvement in licensing systems, and a limitation in the number of fishermen and fishing units. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Njiru M.,University of Eldoret | van der Knaap M.,Lake Tanganyika Authority | Taabu-Munyaho A.,The National Fisheries Resources Research Institute | Nyamweya C.S.,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management | Year: 2014

Lake Victoria, East Africa, supports a fishery that yields about one million tonnes per annum consisting predominantly of three species, Nile Perch (Lates niloticus), Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and a native sardine-like cyprinid called Dagaa (Rastrineobola argentea). The non-native Nile Perch is the most valuable of these species and supports an important commercial export industry; there are fears that overfishing, due to the growth of fishing capacity, is threatening the Nile Perch fishery. Based on its economic importance and the notion that overfishing is threatening the resource, the current fishery management system was developed to control fishing capacity and effort. This system, using the concepts of co-management, where fishing communities and stakeholders participate through community organizations called Beach Management Units (BMUs) to actively manage the fishery in partnership with the central government, has been criticized that it is "fishery-based," focusing on a single species and taking no account of ecological conditions in the lake, nor other species. A more "holistic" approach, which places a greater emphasis on changing nutrient concentrations and primary productivity as drivers of fish populations, has been proposed. Though fishery biologists and managers on Lake Victoria recognize that ecological conditions affect fishery populations, there appears to be two major challenges hindering the implementation of such approaches: first, the lack of a coherent objective of the Lake Victoria fishery, and second, the challenges associated with incorporating and implementing concepts of nutrient information and multiple species into a practical fishery management program. This article describes the current fishery co-management program to determine the feasibility of implementing a holistic approach on Lake Victoria. It is concluded that whether a management system should be "holistic" or "fishery-based" is of little importance; what is needed on Lake Victoria are clear objectives and a management plan that will enable those objectives to be achieved, utilizing both ecological and fisheries data where appropriate. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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