Original Research

The challenges experienced by small-scale fishing communities of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe

Rodney T. Muringai, Denver Naidoo, Paramu Mafongoya
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 16, No 1 | a704 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v16i1.704 | © 2020 Rodney T. Muringai, Denver Naidoo, Paramu Mafongoya | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 May 2019 | Published: 08 September 2020

About the author(s)

Rodney T. Muringai, African Centre for Food Security, School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Denver Naidoo, African Centre for Food Security, School of Agriculture, Earth and Environmental Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Paramu Mafongoya, Rural Agronomy and Development, School of Agriculture Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Abstract

Small-scale fisheries play a significant role in enhancing livelihoods, creating employment and contributing to food security especially in developing countries. Rural fishing communities are highly dependent on natural resources, which are climate sensitive. Many research efforts have been made to understand the impacts of climate change on fisheries and fishing economies. However, little attention has been given to understand the challenges experienced by small-scale fishing communities in developing countries in Africa. This article assesses non-climate change and climate change-induced challenges according to the experiences of the gillnet small-scale fishers of Sanyathi fishing basin of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. The study used a qualitative research design, and data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews with fishers. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts. The study results showed that declining fish catches is one of the major challenges experienced by fishers. The main themes that emanated as the challenges faced by fishers are food insecurity, wildlife attacks, lack of access to information systems, lack of fishing equipment, the existence of the predator crayfish, poor lake co-management and shrinking fishing boundaries. Overall, the study found that fish production is negatively affected by several political, economic and environmental factors; therefore, development through the public and private organisations should incorporate small-scale fishers in policy formulation to positively enhance livelihoods and food security.

Keywords

climate change; small-scale fisheries; wildlife; food insecurity; fish production.

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