MagegoDeclining fish stocks and livelihood diversification among fishing households of Mfangano Isl

Chamberlain College of Nursing **We aren't endorsed by this school
Nov 13, 2023
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1.2 Problem Statement The decline of fisheries resources in L. Victoria has had overwhelming consequences on the surrounding fishing communities. In Mfangano Island, the majority of fishing households have been driven out of their traditional fish-based livelihood as fish stocks become scarce. Fishing activities have become limited as competition for fish faces intensive investments in technology. Therefore, the livelihoods of artisan fishers are threatened and their consumption patterns are drastically changing. People have lost their employment opportunities as fish processing factories are gradually closing down due to low operating capacity. Overall, fishing households have had to grapple with their lost livelihoods by diversifying into other activities. The situation is further worsened by inappropriate policies, institutions and enforcement mechanisms to the common pool fishery resource in the lake. Relevant authorities show little regard for protection of fisheries resources. The fishing community's household incomes have also decreased in real terms as subsistence requirements continuously fluctuate. Moreover most livelihoods are at stake with only few options available for meaningful living (GoK, 2010). Previous studies on livelihoods along the lakeshores have often focused on sectoral aspects. For instance, Townsley (1998) found out that fishing communities did not have savings. They also moved from one area to another depending on fish catch. Mitulla (1999) studied the politics and market dynamics that face Nile Perch Fish in Lake Victoria. While GoK (2010) focused on seasonal productivity fish. Very little is known on livelihood diversification patterns with respect to declining fish stocks in the area. This study attempts to develop a comprehensive linkage to examine livelihood diversification among households of Mfangano Island in response to declining fish stocks. Furthermore, significant policies have also been put in place by the government and other stakeholders to ensure fishing livelihoods get better, however, fishing households are faced with the challenge of dwindling fish catches. 1.3 Research Questions The study was guided by three research questions. 1. What are the existing patterns of livelihood diversification of fishing households in Mfangano Island? 4
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