Fisheries in small water bodies are, in a sense, complementary to those in large inland waters or the sea, since they are usually on a much smaller scale. They provide an opportunity for increased food production in local areas, but are usually utilized for a variety of other purposes. Their management therefore requires a multidisciplinary problem-solving approach. The way in which a water body is managed depends firstly on its productivity and secondly on social and economic factors, such as the presence or absence of fishers and whether they have adequate fishing and preservation techniques, transport, access to markets, and so forth.
The number of small water bodies in southern Africa that are suitable for fish production is largely unknown, although some data are beginning to accumulate. It is hoped that this review has drawn attention to their potential, and will promote interest in their utilization. More importantly, it is hoped that Fishery Departments will devote more resources to the development of small water bodies and, by doing so, help to fill the gaps in our knowledge of these valuable resources.