Рыболовство во внутренних водоемах

Report of the Symposium on Socio-economic aspects of Lake Victoria Fisheries. A Symposium organized by the IFIP Project under the framework of the CIFA Sub-committee for Lake Victoria. FAO/UNDP RAF/87/099-TD/10/90.

Livelihoods, decent work & resilience

Harvesting sector

1. Four papers were presented in relation to this item. The first paper, “Feeding habits of Tilapia in Lake Victoria: background studies for fishery recovery designs”, was presented by P. Ochumba; the second, “Socio-economic aspects of the Tilapia, Nile perch and pelagic fisheries (Rastrineobola)”, by J.Siwo Mbuga; the third one, “Small-scale fishery of the lower Sondu-Miriu river”, by J. Manyala; and the fourth “features of developing artisanal Nile perch and ‘dagaa’ fisheries” by Y. Budeba.

2. On the basis of these papers, a lively discussion took place amongst the participants on the reduction in both mesh size and average fish size that have recently been observed in the Nile perch fishery of Lake Victoria and which could be an indication of overexploitation. However, it has also been observed that total catch continue to increase and that higher market demand for smaller fish size also played a role in mesh size reduction. Other factors such as bias in catch and effort statistics, and the unknown status of the deep water stocks further contribute to the difficulty in assessing the level of exploitation of the Nile perch fishery.

3. It was recommended that the Nile perch stock and its exploitation be carefully monitored: signs of localized overexploitation have been observed, especially in shallow protected areas. In the case of Kenya, in particular, it was pointed out that the need to switch fishing operations to deeper waters will have a significant socio-economic impact, especially in terms of operating and investment costs.

4. As also investment continues to be made into the fishery it is apparent that such investment is still profitable. Prices in Kenya were reported to have increased significantly, reaching an average of 7 Ksh/kg. However, as a result of increased investment cost in the gill net fishery, theft of nets and possibly lower relative catch rates, it was reported that a significant number of fishermen were now switching from gill netting to seining. Concurrently, many fishermen are now making their own nets using less expensive material rather than purchasing factory-made nets.

5. A similar trend was reported in Tanzania where there is additional investment coming into the dagaa fishery. Information based on observations made in Mwanza Gulf show that the catamaran/lift net units recently introduced from Lake Tanganyika where more profitable than the other techniques used so far to catch dagaa. This new technique could prove a very positive development in socio-economic terms and as a mean of indirectly reducing the use of beach seines. In Lake Kivu it has been observed that trimarans are even more performant than catamarans. It was recommended that the performances of these fishing units be carefully monitored and that information be transmitted to both Kenya and Uganda.

6. The issue of fish supply and its affordability in the lake shore/rural areas vs the generation of income to fishermen through market expansion in urban and export markets raised many questions. As far as Kenya is concerned, it was noted that the export/urban markets developed rapidly as Nile perch was initially not well accepted by the local consumers. In spite of possible adverse impact on local consumers with lower purchase power, it was generally felt that market development had a positive impact on the lake shore economy in addition to the large benefits derived at the national level. In general, it was noted that market forces provided enough incentives to producers and that the provision of subsidized inputs or other incentives was not called for.

7. Ecological issues were raised, especially with respect to the proliferation of blue-green algae. The disappearance of Haplochromines previously feeding on these and other organisms may be at the origin of these ecological changes although pollution was also mentioned. In consideration of the role of Haplochromines in ensuring the ecological balance of the lake, exploiting the Nile perch stock more intensively than otherwise optimal might be justified.

8. In view of limited information available on the socio-economic performances of the harvesting sector, it was recommended that cost-earning survey be conducted more systematically.

Fishing input supply

9. Discussion on this item followed a presentation by E.Yongo “Factors affecting input supply to artisanal fisheries of Lake Victoria”.

10. The decrease in fishing nets production in Kenya, where the only company is now operating at 46% capacity, may reflect the fact that more and more fishermen are making nets from polyethylene twines (manila), but may also reflect decreasing fishing effort in the gill net fishery.

11. In Kenya, a value added tax of 17% has now replaced the sales tax. There is no preferential treatment for fishing inputs as it is the case for the agriculture sector. Import duties are also applied to the fishing inputs (up to 100% for out-board engines). In Uganda, indirect subsidies are provided through tax-free import, while in Tanzania fishing gear now benefit from lesser import duties as for agricultural inputs in general.

12. In Kenya, registration data tend to show that entry into the fishery peaked around 1981 and decreased significantly thereafter. Discussion on the estimation of fleet size led the symposium to recommend that in addition to using registration/licence information, periodic frame surveys should be conducted.

13. A survey of infrastructures and services available at landing sites in Kenya shows that a large number of landing sites are poorly equipped. This situation prevails all around the lake and has adverse consequences on fishing activities and fish quality (raising post-harvest losses). The symposium felt that the provision of basic infrastructures and services at landing sites and the improvement of feeder roads should generally receive a higher priority. Improved access to credit was also considered important especially in view of the reluctance of banking institutions to lend to fishermen.

Industrial sector

14. Discussion on this item followed a presentation by D. Kibwika on “Industrial fisheries activities and related projects in Uganda”.

15. The symposium was informed that four industrial fish processing and marketing companies now operated in Uganda. This, together with the introduction of two pair-trawlers and fish meal processing facilities for animal production constitute new developments.

16. Another recent development is the semi-industrial salting of Nile perch for export to Zaire, an activity reported to be growing in Tanzania and Uganda.

17. Kenya reported that 20 processing plants were operating in the country with total production capacity of about 80 tons/day of Nile perch fillets. More recently a significant development of fish meal production from ‘omena’ has been observed.

18. Although trawling operations remain very limited there has been a progressive increase in the number of trawlers operating on the lake, especially in Tanzania. Both Uganda and Kenya reported that their governments were cautious in allowing entry into the fishery by trawlers in spite of a high number of requests. The symposium generally felt that trawling for Nile perch was to be discouraged in view of employment considerations and concerns about conflicts with small-scale fishermen.

19. The view was again expressed that infrastructures and landing sites should be improved, and that processors should be encouraged to assist at this level in order to improve fish quality and reduce post-harvest losses.

20. Details were given on the operation of a new processing plant in Jinja by Uganda Fishing Company Ltd. It was reported that the facilities were used to produce cold smoked products for export and for the distribution of fresh fish to distant areas using refrigerated vehicles.

IV. Processing and Marketing sector

21. Discussion on this topic was based on two papers, “Processing and Marketing of Nile perch Lates niloticus and the pelagic species Rastrineobola argentea (‘dagaa’)” by A.P.Achieng, and “Marketing and distribution aspects of Lake Victoria Fisheries in Uganda” by C.T.Kirema-Mukasa.

22. Of the 3 commercial species in Lake Victoria (Nile perch, dagaa or omena, and tilapia) only the first two are processed in large scale.

23. Export of frozen Nile perch fillets is a major feature of the Kenyan fishery industry. Uganda and Tanzania also have export potential but so far this potential has yet to be utilized.

24. In the case of Uganda, the reasons for non utilization of this potential were civil unrest and internal as well as external trade barriers. Now that the first two constraints have been removed only the external trade barriers remain. The need was therefore expressed to discuss bilateral trade arrangements promoting Nile perch export from Uganda via Kenya in the interest of both countries.

25. In addition to limited exports of frozen fillets to Europe and elsewhere, processors and traders in Uganda and Tanzania have developed a largely informal trade to Zaire and also to Burundi and Rwanda of smoked and salted-dried Nile perch. This trade thus enables the fishing industry to renew and improve its production capacities.

26. Dagaa/omena catches are high and still increasing, although at lower level in Uganda where night fishing is still not allowed.

27. In Kenya, with the advent of the use of omena for animal feed, the competition against its use as human food is increasing. A possible further use for dried omena in Kenya could be the World Food Programme which could use it both in Kenya and in neighbouring countries.

28. In Tanzania, there is active competition for dried dagaa between the animal feed industry and the internal and export markets for human consumption. Considerable quantities find their way to Zaire and other countries through informal intraregional trade networks.

29. There was extensive discussion on the apparently conflicting policy objectives of income generation on the one hand and local food supply on the other hand. It was concluded that Government intervention should be in the form of trade and marketing promotion both at national and regional levels as this would finally best serve the interest of producers and consumers alike through a general rise of income in the society.

30. Such Government promotion should be in the forms of (i) improving infrastructures (roads, electricity, etc.) at landing points as well as the communication infrastructure with the major markets including those at the rural level; (ii) facilitating trade; (iii) assisting the industry to improve the quality hence the value of the products including through support of national applied research capacities.

V. Socio-economic studies and related research programmes

31. Discussion on this topic was based on three papers: “The importance of fishery economics in the understanding of fishery systems” presented by P.N. Karuhanga, “A case study of the influence of beach and mosquito seines on the fisheries of the Nyanza Gulf: a socio-economic review” presented by S.O. Dache and “Analysis of the dilemmas of Government Fisheries Development agencies arising from conflicts in development objectives” presented by A.S. Oburu.

32. The participants, many of whom were not social scientists, emphasized the need to conduct socio-economic investigations on a more systematic basis.

33. It was observed, in general and on the basis of the presentations, that a greater integration between socio-economic and biological investigations should be sought.

34. Bio-economic modelling was recognized as a useful tool for a better understanding of the dynamics of fishery systems and their management. Concerns were expressed, however, on their applicability in the absence of readily available data.

35. Discussed at length was the shift of operation of the prevailing gears, gill net and long line, in favour of beach seine and mosquito net in the Kenyan part of the lake. The Government control and regulatory measures were presented and their implementation process was explained. However, many participants expressed concern as to the decrease of Nile perch abundance within the Gulf with catch outside the Gulf now representing 70% of total catch. From the data presented, it appears that seining has become more profitable but a more in depth study is required on their effect on the future of fisheries in the lake.

36. The issue of conflict in development objectives was again debated at large. While there was a general agreement that large benefits have been obtained so far from the new fishery situation of Lake Victoria, concerns were expressed regarding possible adverse effects. This is particularly the case for Kenya where the development of fisheries has in recent years been driven by urban and export demand.

37. Special concerns were expressed about reported malnutrition in the lake shore area and in the Western province of Kenya in general. It was pointed out that this especially affects very young children and may be related to feeding habits more than to the fisheries situation. Nevertheless other factors such as reportedly low standard of living of hired labour in the harvesting sector led the symposium to recommend that this issue be investigated.

VI. Fisheries management and related research programmes

38. Discussion on fisheries management followed a presentation by P.O. Rambiri on “Fisheries Management in Lake Victoria: the need for regional collaboration in stock propagation, research and environmental conservation”.

39. It was noted that Kenya has recently adopted a new fishery legislation providing a more adequate framework for fisheries management.

40. The need for regional collaboration on research and in introducing management measures was emphasized, and efforts made by FAO and EEC in particular to strengthen this collaboration were noted.

41. It was recommended that steps be taken in each country to strengthen linkages between research institutions and fisheries departments both as a way to determine research priorities and to more readily act on the basis of research results.

42. A related issue raised by the symposium was the need for the result of research to be communicated to decision makers in an understandable format pointing out any policy implications.

43. The difficulty of managing multi-species fisheries added to uncertainties as to the state of their exploitation and environment was discussed at length. The symposium felt however that a number of management/related measures could be introduced on the basis of existing information, in particular viz pollution control, protection of breeding grounds and the use of undesirable fishing practices.

44. The reduction of mesh size in the Nile perch fisheries in the Nyanza Gulf lead the symposium to conclude that reproduction may be affected and that a minimum mesh size could be introduced. It was further noted that the Nile perch and tilapia fisheries appear to be quite distinct, allowing for such a management measure to be introduced.

45. The symposium strongly recommended that fisheries research institutes be strengthened in terms of budget and research programmes to better serve the fisheries management needs for information on the resource and its exploitation.

46. The symposium also recommended that statistical system be strengthened and streamlined, further nothing work undertaken by two FAO executed projects at this level.

47. Finally, the symposium very much emphasized the need for the authorities responsible for management to involve the fisherman themselves in the application of management measures as well as to raise the awareness of fishermen in respect to undesirable effects of some fishing practices.