Prospects for Improving Artisanal Fisheries Management in Diani-Chale, Southern Kenya.
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AuthorAlidina, Hussein M.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractDespite being one of the primary resources utilized by coastal dwellers in Kenya, near shore fisheries have generally received low government priority and their management remains poor. This study was premised on the proposition that the management coastal artisanal fisheries in Kenya can be improved through collaborative and local level fishery management approaches. The Diani-Chale area on the southern coast of Kenya was selected as the study area where this proposition was explored. The fishery in Diani-Chale faces a myriad of issues that include; diminishing catches, gear conflicts, poor enforcement of regulations and loss of costal areas used by fishers. Collaborative management (co-management) approaches seek to move fisheries management to local levels by empowering communities and fishers to manage their resources through the sharing of management responsibilities with government. In Diani-Chale, both government and fishers perceive problems that they have been unable to resolve on their own suggesting that a collaborative approach may be better suited. Nonetheless, a shared vision for the fishery has not yet developed. Such a vision will be required if co-management in the longer-tenn is to be successful. The key co-management issues and players in Diani-Chale with regards to the four fishery management components; policy, operational management, development, and research were examined. Government holds the de facto control over fishery policy and has the power to determine the type of co-management arrangement to be developed. The landing site/fishing ground unit was identified as most appropriate level at which operational management measures (i.e. rules for the use of the fishery) should be negotiated and implemented. To date, fisher interventions at this level have received little support from the Fisheries Department. The government needs to provide an enabling environment by clarifying harvesting and access rights and providing security of tenure on fishing grounds to fishers and local level institutions. The need for integration between fishery development measures and other components was stressed. Fishery development measures need to be consistent with the objectives of a sustainable fishery. The links between fishery managers and researchers should be strengthened and participatory research involving fishers could serve as a way in which research findings are translated into management intervention. To be successful, co-management in Diani-Chale will demand the active involvement of both government and fishers. The move to initiate Beach Management Committees (BMC) and to revive some local institutions is an encouraging step toward co-management. Such institutions need support and capacity building, and external agents and NGOs have a continued role to play in this regard. Achieving co-management will be a gradual process but can be expected to be a prominent feature of how fisheries will be managed in the future. Fisheries co-management alone will not be able to resolve issues arising from external influences that impact the fishery. Fisheries co-management in Diani-Chale should be closely linked with Integrated Coastal Area Management.
Publisher or UniversityDalhousie University