Nature Foundation’s experience in managing small-scale fisheries showcased at continental level
The Namibia Nature Foundation was represented by two team members of the Freshwater and Inland Fisheries programmatic area at the ECOFISH knowledge fair in mid-June in Kenya.
The ECOFISH programme supports development and improving the livelihoods of people by promoting sustainable fisheries.
The Nature Foundation received support through the EU-funded ECOFISH small grants for “Strengthening Community Fisheries in KAZA”, a project to improve depleted fish stocks and enhance the socio-ecological resilience of communities through ecosystem-based adaptation.
At the fair, the Nature Foundation presented the Namibian success story of 20 community co-managed fisheries reserves generating benefits such as increased fish stocks and improved nutrition for local people.
The fair further provided a platform to expand the participants’ understanding, contribute to collective growth, and encourage other project partners to learn from each other.
“We believe that the Namibian approach of creating ownership among local communities and devolving rights over resources is a long-term solution to reverse the trend of dwindling fish stocks,” said foundation representative, Britta Hackenberg.
The workshop also brought together professional fishers, beneficiaries, experts, policymakers, fisheries project leaders, representatives of international development organisations, and media representatives across Africa.
In Mombasa, all nine ECOFISH-funded small-scale fisheries projects, the AU-IBAR, and other intergovernmental organizations such as SADC shared the lessons they have learned in fisheries management and discussed themes relating to the Blue Economy and the conservation of aquatic biodiversity at the continental level.
“The Africa Region has a wealth of knowledge and experiences in different Blue Economy sectors. However, documentation and dissemination of the region’s experiences are limited,” said Dr Fatuma Adan, Head of Mission to the Republic of Kenya-IGAD.
Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture play a vital role in Africa’s coastal economies, with annual fish production amounting to around 5.2 million tons and worth around US$5.4 billion according to Dev Phokeer, Director of the Indian Ocean Commission.