EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY

LAKE VICTORIA FISHERIES ORGANIZATION

Background

The Socio-economics of the Nile perch for Lake Victoria Phase II (July 2001 and to October 2005) was implemented by LVFO with technical support from IUCN Eastern African Regional Office and financial support from NORAD. Phase I of the project (1996 – 1999), implemented by IUCN and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), focused on the impacts of the Nile perch export trade on food security, nutrition, employment, income and other socio-economic benefits for the local communities.

Phase II included all three Partner States and was implemented by a small group composed of socio-economists and fisheries management experts from Fisheries Departments and Fisheries Research Institutes, coordinated by the LVFO Secretariat with technical support from IUCN.

Aims of Phase II of the Project

    Improved information dissemination on social and economic trends.
    Improved capacity of resource user groups to participate in fisheries management.
    Improved policy processes to respond to social and economic trends.

Approach

The Project focused on transboundary areas, which at the time Phase II started, were besieged with cross-border conflicts in fishing and fish trade.  The Project worked with the communities to restore cross-border relations and strengthen their capacities in planning. Training was carried out in BMU orientation and fisheries management.

Key Achievements
The project made many contributions to the improved management of the lake, including

    Contributions to policy decisions such as the strategy on cross-border fishing and fish trade, adopted by the Council of Ministers.
    Development of a draft Communication Strategy Paper for LVFO.
    Production of brochures of simplified extracts of Fisheries Legislation relevant to Lake Victoria in English and 3 local languages (Kiswahili, Dholuo and Luganda).
    Produced fact sheets on Lake Victoria and its fisheries
    Supported cross-border exchange visits for improved understanding and relations.
    Supported BMUs to initiate networking across borders.
    Under took studies on cross-border fishing and fish trade, Lake Victoria Resource User Groups and Socio-economic feasibility and viability of BMUs.
    Held an International Workshop on Community Participation in Lake Victoria Fisheries Management where the roles of BMUs in fisheries management were identified.