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The role of small-scale inland capture fisheries for food security in Lake Chilwa

The role of small-scale inland capture fisheries for food security in Lake Chilwa
The role of small-scale inland capture fisheries for food security in Lake Chilwa
Inland capture fisheries are an important source of food, nutrition, employment and income for millions of people globally, but primarily in developing countries. In Africa, where inland fisheries constitute the major supply of fish in some countries, there are regional variations in production. For example, East Africa has the highest production levels of fish, yet some countries, such as Malawi, experience one of the lowest per capita fish production level. Fish contributes to food security and nutrition through two main pathways. Fish can act as a cash crop generating income, which can increase purchasing power for other food items. In addition, fish directly consumed can improve food and nutritional security. Understanding the role and value of small-scale capture fisheries to livelihood and food security is a key challenge in conserving fisheries resources and livelihoods. This is particularly true for small-scale inland capture fisheries, which are one of the most under-reported and under-valued fisheries sectors. Evidence highlights the lack of understanding of the pathways by which fisheries contribute to food security, particularly by men and women along the value chain. In addition, the effects of climate change on local food security is poorly understood. Shallow lakes, such as Lake Chilwa in Malawi, have been shown to be sensitive to climate change where experiences of water level fluctuation are common. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the contribution of small-scale capture fisheries to food security, using the case study of Lake Chilwa, Malawi. To investigate the temporal stability of fish availability and the contributions of fisher livelihoods to income and food, the thesis employs the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and the four pillars of food security. The study finds evidence that Lake Chilwa’s fishery is influenced by the environment. Fish producing households consumed more fish and more diverse and nutritious diets, and had higher overall levels of food security compared to non-fishing households, which was achieved through direct and indirect pathways. The study contributes to the call for local level assessments of the impact of climate variability on inland small-scale fisheries and their value to food and nutritional security in rural communities. The findings are important for promoting effective fisheries management, climate adaptation and poverty alleviation development.
University of Southampton
Simmance, Fiona
adfd7a22-d658-495c-96ae-4d73ee51dd6e
Simmance, Fiona
adfd7a22-d658-495c-96ae-4d73ee51dd6e
Poppy, Guy
e18524cf-10ae-4ab4-b50c-e73e7d841389

Simmance, Fiona (2017) The role of small-scale inland capture fisheries for food security in Lake Chilwa. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 334pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Inland capture fisheries are an important source of food, nutrition, employment and income for millions of people globally, but primarily in developing countries. In Africa, where inland fisheries constitute the major supply of fish in some countries, there are regional variations in production. For example, East Africa has the highest production levels of fish, yet some countries, such as Malawi, experience one of the lowest per capita fish production level. Fish contributes to food security and nutrition through two main pathways. Fish can act as a cash crop generating income, which can increase purchasing power for other food items. In addition, fish directly consumed can improve food and nutritional security. Understanding the role and value of small-scale capture fisheries to livelihood and food security is a key challenge in conserving fisheries resources and livelihoods. This is particularly true for small-scale inland capture fisheries, which are one of the most under-reported and under-valued fisheries sectors. Evidence highlights the lack of understanding of the pathways by which fisheries contribute to food security, particularly by men and women along the value chain. In addition, the effects of climate change on local food security is poorly understood. Shallow lakes, such as Lake Chilwa in Malawi, have been shown to be sensitive to climate change where experiences of water level fluctuation are common. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the contribution of small-scale capture fisheries to food security, using the case study of Lake Chilwa, Malawi. To investigate the temporal stability of fish availability and the contributions of fisher livelihoods to income and food, the thesis employs the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and the four pillars of food security. The study finds evidence that Lake Chilwa’s fishery is influenced by the environment. Fish producing households consumed more fish and more diverse and nutritious diets, and had higher overall levels of food security compared to non-fishing households, which was achieved through direct and indirect pathways. The study contributes to the call for local level assessments of the impact of climate variability on inland small-scale fisheries and their value to food and nutritional security in rural communities. The findings are important for promoting effective fisheries management, climate adaptation and poverty alleviation development.

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Fiona Simmance Final Thesis - Version of Record
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Published date: 30 September 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428635
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428635
PURE UUID: 4bd18492-02d4-4f2a-aa1a-22f58d97f59d

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Date deposited: 05 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 17:31

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