This paper evaluates evidence that fish stocks in Africa's inland waters are climate-driven and cannot be stabilized by conventional fisheries management measures. We draw on published material and our own recent and on-going research in Lake Chad and the East African Great Lakes area to propose that fisherfolk's livelihood strategies are well adapted to both seasonal and inter-annual climate-induced fluctuations. We argue that current State-led fisheries management fails to recognize the significance of these climate-induced fluctuations, and the nature and rationality of fisherfolk's' responses to them. State management therefore potentially or actually undermines the strategies that fisherfolk have evolved to both cope with and benefit from fluctuating resource availability. We conclude with a discussion of how management could adapt to support, rather than hinder, fisherfolk's adaptations to the fluctuating resource base, and how such management needs to be based on a fuller understanding of fisherfolk's livelihood systems.
Sarch, M. and E.H. Allison. Fluctuating Fisheries in Africa's Inland Waters: Well Adapted Livelihoods, Maladapted Management. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.