Pesca continental

Inland fisheries evolution and management – case studies from four continents

Managing inland fisheries

In 2009, inland fisheries produced some 10  million  tonnes of fish. Despite their importance to rural communities, especially in the least-developed countries, little attention has been paid to this sector in recent years. As a result, there is a deficit in management of the fisheries and also an increasing threat to freshwater by a number of non-fishery users of the aquatic resource. As part of an effort to raise awareness of the problems facing inland fisheries and to examine more closely the various issues, this document reviews four of the world’s best-documented inland fisheries: the Amazon, Lake Constance, the Mekong and Lake Victoria. These represent two lake fisheries and two river fisheries drawn from a wide geographical sample – Africa, Asia, South America and Europe.

This technical paper draws conclusions from the four case studies and more general experience as to some of the main issues facing inland fisheries. Inland fishery statistics are generally are very poor, so knowledge of the actual contribution of the sector to food security is not known. Nevertheless, inland fisheries employ about 56  million people directly and indirectly. The state of the stocks of fish in many fisheries is not known because of the low level of research across the many rivers and lakes. However, it is understood that, in many cases, the main driver of the fish assemblages is not the way in which the fishery is managed but rather the state of the environment as acted upon by other human uses. This means that mechanisms are needed to improve both management of fisheries through forms of comanagement and collaboration at the national and international level between agencies responsible for the management of the aquatic resource in general.