Community involvement in fish harvesting around Lake Victoria (Kenya)
Benefits accruing to fishing communities have not marched increases in fish yields. This has affected the disadvantaged groups especially women who rely on processing and marketing fish for their livelihood. The aim of this study was to asses the extent of community involvement in fish harvesting activities, the benefits accruing, perceptions towards fisheries regulations and their constraints in regard to threats and risks they face in Lake Victoria. Sampling was conducted on 25 landing beaches between August and November 2000 and a total of 229 fishers interviewed. Data was obtained using a structured survey questionnaire on fish production and personal interviews. Seventy two percent felt that their occupation was not sustainable due to low prices of fish, 70% of fishers joined the fishery for period between 1 to 10 years, 81% operated on full-time basis, while 19% operated on parttime. During the Government of Kenya retrenchment exercise, there was a short-term influx into the fishery. In a good week, a fisher could earn an average of Kshs.7, 750. In a bad week one could earn approximately Kshs.1, 822. Fishers sampled were familiar with fisheries laws and regulations applied in the management of Lake Victoria fisheries 90%. The results show most fishers have no alternative occupation apart from fishing with men dominating in the harvesting sector while women only owned fishing gears and equipments. Although majority of fishers worked on full-time basis, they have limited or no influence on the levels of benefits they receive from the activity and this can be supported by the unemployment caused by the fish processing factories that fish directly by providing efficient gears and boats to fishermen.
- Conference Papers