Management or mis-management of African flood pulse fisheries. Wetlands in a Flood Pulsing Environment:Effects on and responses in biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human society

J. Kolding, P.A.M. van Zwieten

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Floodplains are among the most productive aquatic ecosystems, which can be attributed to the advantages described in the ¿flood pulse concept¿. However, many lakes and most reservoirs also have a fluctuating hydrology associated with river inflows, and significant relationships between fish productivity and fluctuations in water levels - serving as a proxy for nutrient loading - are often found. Depending on the amplitude of the fluctuations, lakes and reservoirs can vary from stable to highly pulsed systems which have important implications for the life history of the fish populations, and consequently for their productivity and resilience to exploitation. Inland fisheries in Africa constitute a ’social security system’ - a common good that requires common access. They often serve as the ’last resort’ when everything else fails, and for this they have been seriously undervalued. Small scale fisheries, by their nature, are largely regulated by the natural production and display a high degree of adaptability and resilience. In spite of common belief, the non regulated, non-selective, adaptive fishing patterns are healthier and far more ecosystem conserving than current management strategies based on gear restrictions and size limitations. The immense pressure to adapt to modern management thinking based on economic theory is based on flawed assumptions and will, under present conditions, not only have negative social effects, but also negative biological consequences on aquatic ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Symposium Flood Pulsed Wetlands. 1-5 February 2010, Maun, Botswana -
Duration: 1 Feb 20105 Feb 2010

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium Flood Pulsed Wetlands. 1-5 February 2010, Maun, Botswana
Period1/02/105/02/10

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Management or mis-management of African flood pulse fisheries. Wetlands in a Flood Pulsing Environment:Effects on and responses in biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and human society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this