Monday, February 16, 2009

BIOKAVANGO fisheries stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder meeting sharing 2009 plan

BIOKAVANGO Project’s Fisheries Component held a half day’s meeting in Shakawe on the 30th of January 2009 to share the 2009 BIOKAVANGO Fisheries annual plan with stakeholders in the Okavango Fishery: Okavango Fishers Association Executive Committee, tour operators, DWNP - Fisheries Division, HOORC, Department of Water Affairs, Department of Tourism, Northwest District Council Dept. of Environmental Health, an independent researcher, Tawana Land Board, and a representative of the houseboat operators. The stakeholders welcomed the plan and agreed to work together to achieve the component’s outcome, which is “Biodiversity friendly management methods are inducted into fisheries production systems”. They also discussed in detail the 2009 first quarter plan of activities in which the formation of an Okavango Fisheries Management Committee (OFMC) was a key item. All stakeholders at the meeting agreed to the officialisation and its membership and to discuss in a different meeting, the key roles and responsibilities of the Committee.

Surveying blocked channels in the fisheries pilot site

Participants in the meeting also surveyed lagoons in the fisheries pilot site by aircraft and by boat to identify all lagoons important to both commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as to record and evaluate blockages from the main river channel. HOORC’s GIS Laboratory is producing maps of the observations to assist stakeholders to identify which lagoons have to be unblocked first and to assist in developing criteria for identification of fishing areas for fisheries management.

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