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Practical Challenges of Governing Shared Commons: The Lake Chiuta Small-Scale Fisheries Resources

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Njaya, Friday
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/630
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Africa
Subject(s): fisheries
local governance and politics
indigenous knowledge
Lake Chiuta
Abstract: "This paper seeks to identify major challenges of implementing fisheries comanagement on Lake Chiuta, a shared ecosystem between Malawi and Mozambique. Despite its remoteness, fisheries resources in the small lake of about 200 km2, contribute to food security and livelihoods of the local people. However, strategies of sustaining the catches have involved shifting from traditional management to a co-management arrangement with partnership of fishing community and Malawis Department of Fisheries while the traditional arrangement remains on the Mozambican side. The Malawian fishing community represented by Beach Village Committees claim that seining destroys habitat for fish breeding and stationery gillnet set in the water. However, the seining operations are allowed on the Mozambican side, which is a source of a serious conflict in managing the fisheries resources. Consequently, a Transboundary Fish Resource Management Programme is being recommended to address the major challenges of governing the fisheries resources. Opportunities exist in form of socio-cultural aspects, as the fishing communities share the same historical background, have traditional knowledge about the resources and both countries are party to various international conventions, agreements, treaties and protocols that deal with conservation and management of natural resources. There is need to adopt an ecosystem-based management approach."

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