The present report is the main result of a four-year research project on freshwater fisheries development in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) area funded by the Norwegian Research Council. It has involved a number of African and European researchers who have delivered written contributions. The report is divided into a synthesis part and ten case studies covering five important freshwater bodies in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Due to practical and financial constraints, it was unfortunately not possible to include all participants in the development of the synthesis but we hope that we have been able to reflect all the major findings which emerged from the case studies. The names of the editors appear in alphabetical order.