Stakeholder Surveys Lake Tanganyika fisheries
The fisheries of Lake Tanganyika play an important role in food security in Central and Eastern Africa. Effective legislation, supported by local populations and resource users is needed to support sustainable management of the valuable fish stocks. Knowledge of the perceptions and an understanding of the concerns and struggles of stakeholders in the fisheries can provide policy-makers with recommendations to adapt fisheries management. We interviewed 1,019 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 spoke of challenges due to weather or climate variability, a noticeable decrease in fish abundance and size, and increase in price of fish on the market. Fishermen experienced a lack of safety on the lake, from 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 focus-points for policy-makers to improve management of the Lake Tanganyika fisheries.
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