La pêche continentale

Management systems for riverine fisheries

Managing inland fisheries

This paper is concerned specifically with the problems of river fisheries and associated management issues. It deals in particular with the scope for building on traditional practices, through the participation of traditional fishing communities, as a means of improving the quality of river fishery management.

The paper reviews the most frequently encountered problems of riverine fisheries such as over-fishing due to population pressure or migration, and artifically induced environmental factors such as dams, pollution and deforestation. It lays stress on the importance of studying fishing communities, as well as strictly biological factors, and presents a four-stage analysis of the evolution of traditional riverine fisheries. Several undesirable consequences of this typical evolution, both on the resource itself and on traditional fishing communities, are identified and illustrated by case studies from the Amazon and the Zambesi. Certain types of traditional management strategies are examined and assessed for their future utility.

The current ineffectiveness of many existing government river fisheries management policies is noted, either as a result of lack of resources or because they are inappropriate, often rooted in outdated colonial legislation. The lack of both limited access measures and of participation by local fishing communities are highlighted as major deficiencies.

The paper concludes by linking these two features as crucial components of durable river management strategies for the future, although other possibilities for management are also reviewed and assessed. The paper contains a comprehensive bibliography for further reading.