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Recommendations for action

1) Improve the valuation of living river resources in order to contribute to equitable and sustainable management of fishery resources and properly place the fishery in the context of the other uses of rivers.

2) Direct greater effort to better understanding the social and economic aspects of fisheries to support policy and management priorities; livelihood approaches will be a valuable tool.

3) Communicate and engage with environment and water resources managers within the context of multi-use of water in order to accurately assess impacts and to sustain the benefits of river fisheries in an equitable manner.

4) Develop processes that facilitate the users and beneficiaries of the fishery resource to assume greater control of its management.

5) Establish appropriate mechanisms at national and basin level to enable negotiation for the needs of communities dependent upon the living aquatic resources. In particular further regulations need to be elaborated to protect general ecosystem function and provide for environmental flows.

6) Use instruments such as the freshwater eco-regions approach, the Ramsar Convention and the guidelines for water allocation suggested by the World Commission on Dams, to enhance planning for conservation and sustainable use of river habitats.

7) Incorporate ecological flow requirements of river-floodplain systems into development plans and impact assessments that affect river flows, taking into account the seasonality of the system and the environmental cues needed by the fish for migration and reproduction.

8) Rehabilitate degraded ecosystems wherever possible. Prioritize schemes that ensure connectivity and protection of critical habitats.

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