Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fisheries governance, management and marginalisation in developing countries: Insights from Botswana

 By Ketlhatlogile Mosepele  and Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole


Globally, fish is a key source of food and nutrition security for all marginalized riparian communities. This is particularly so for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Indeed, debates about power relations on fisheries governance underscore issues bordering on the quality of life and livelihood opportunities for marginalized, riparian communities. The fundamental problems impeding the ability of fisheries resources in a developing country like Botswana to contribute to food and nutrition security are governance issues and poorly-thought out management approaches. This study reviewed relevant literature and key informant interviews to elicit secondary and primary data on the management of the fisheries sector. Despite its middle income status, Botswana is still faced with food and nutrition insecurity. These can be ameliorated by increased supply of fish, especially to marginalised riparian communities. However, the fisheries sector is maligned in terms of access to human and financial resources. Governance of the sector is also misaligned between food production needs and conservation imperatives. Consequently, poor physical infrastructure (due to low government support and investment) has limited the optimal performance of the sector in enhancing people’ livelihoods. Key recommendations from this study include: (i) realigning fisheries legislation and governance, (ii) paradigm shift in management, (iii) increase funding for research and marketing, (iv) infrastructural development, (v) cultural shift in fish valuation, and (vi) participatory inclusion in decision-making. Ultimately, marginalisation can be reduced through devolution of power from the centre to the margins. This would contribute towards alleviating food and nutrition insecurity in the developing world.

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