Fishing Business Arrangements and Sustainability in Lake Victoria Fishing
Fishing is an important activity for communities living adjacent to rivers and lakes—it is an economic activity that generates income and provides sustenance to those engaged in fishing as an occupation. Majority of the crewmembers of the fishing vessels, though small scale, are not the owner of the vessels. Majority are hired and their payment is made in-terms of the share of the catch. The main fish species are Tilapia, Nile perch (sangara), Dagaa, nembe, gogogo and furu. In this article an attempt is made to analyse the existing production relations between the owners of the vessels and the crewmembers and the concern for sustainability. Our results found that the existing sharing system in Lake Victoria poses a big challenge in as far as sustainability is concerned. Some of the system such as the percentage of catch after deducting operation costs are to some extent seems to be exploitative since majority of the owner of the fishing vessels assign high costs. Hence large percentage of the catch will go to the owner of the fishing vessels. Thus, fishermen are compelled to use any means to ensure that they have enough catch. The most favoured sharing model is the ratio in days, in which case each fishing unit is assigned a
day, that’s owners’ day, crews day, and vessels day. Regression results further shows that type of fishing gears, in particular mesh size, net length, Boat size, method of propulsion significantly influence the value of catch and the quantity harvested. Mounting of fishing nets is found to negatively influence the quantity of catch in each fishing trip. Suggesting that given the current stock mounting of nets is not an efficient way of catching large quantity of fish.
Keywords: Lake Victoria, Inland Water, Sustainability, Overfishing