Pesca continental

Assessing water availability and economic, social and nutritional contributions from inland capture fisheries and aquaculture: An indicator-based framework

Linkages to water management

This study provides an indicator-based framework for understanding the economic, social and nutritional contributions of inland capture fisheries and aquaculture and their links to available inland water resources. The framework proposes fourteen initial indicators to represent environmental, economic, social and nutritional dimensions that are based on their ability to be applicable to inland capture fisheries and aquaculture, and that are easy to interpret, robust and applicable at the national as well as regional or local scales.

These indicators have the potential to: (i) measure the current benefits derived from the inland capture fisheries and aquaculture sector from the available natural and artificial inland water areas as a baseline for national sectoral planning and management; (ii) inform intersectoral water management; and (iii) be included, in the face of climate change and changing water availability, as inputs into modelling the potential economic, social and nutritional losses and opportunities to society stemming from impacts in the inland fisheries sector.

The indicator framework has been tested in eighteen African and Asian countries, which are diverse not only in their natural and artificial water resources, but also in their economic, social and cultural contexts. Although the compilation exercise was constrained by a paucity of available information, the results show the type of information, and reliability, that can be obtained in data-poor situations. The results also show how these indicators can support the identification of major data gaps and possible incongruences in available statistics.

This study also describes the methodological approach, including the criteria used to assemble the indicators, the data sources, and the major achievements and constraints encountered in the compilation of the indicators. An overview of the initial indicator values among the eighteen African and Asian countries is provided to show the consistency and efficacy of the indicator-based framework.

The indicator framework is an important initial step towards improved understanding of the contributions to human well-being of inland capture fisheries and aquaculture from freshwater and brackish-water systems. In the face of climate change and other factors impacting water availability, this framework can assist countries in providing a baseline for their fisheries and aquaculture planning and management, in understanding the vulnerability of the sector to climate change, and in supporting the participation of the sector in ever crucial intersectoral water management discussions.