Drivers and barriers to sustainable fisheries in two peri-urban impoundments in Zimbabwe

  • Beaven Utete 1. Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe; 2. Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
  • Crispen Phiri Department of Freshwater and Fishery Science, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe
  • Tosan B Fregene Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Keywords: peri-urban fisheries, food security, water resource conservation, water pollution, sustainability


Fisheries sustainability is categorised through four conceptual pillars: ecological, economic, and social, including cultural and institutional. Much work on fisheries sustainability has been done in marine fisheries relative to inland fisheries. Two inland peri-urban impoundments, Chivero and Manyame in Zimbabwe, support numerous small-scale fisheries; however, environmental and socioeconomic variables threaten the sustainability of the fisheries. This study aimed to identify and contextualise drivers and barriers to sustainability of small-scale fisheries in these two peri-urban impoundments. We applied three frameworks, Fishery Performance Indicators, Community-Based Fishery Indicators and FAO Small-Scale Fisheries Indicators, to identify and contextualise the drivers and barriers. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect data from fishers in the two impoundments. A structured questionnaire was administered to 115 fishers in 23 fishing companies operating in the two lakes. Fisheries income and revenue as well as food security are key drivers. Lack of post-harvest equipment, volatile fish markets, water quality and quantity deterioration and fish stock decreases are key barriers to sustainability of fisheries in the two impoundments. There are subtle differences in the extent and impact of the drivers and barriers of fisheries sustainability in the two lakes. The differences relate to the uniqueness of the aquatic habitats, social constructs and fisheries operational frameworks in each lake. This suggests a need to assess fisheries sustainability using an integrated bottom-up approach starting from individual fisheries < community fisheries < global/generic fisheries.

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Research paper