Title: Baseline and scoping studies for the development of inland fisheries management plan in Sierra Leone: case study of Lake Mabesi and River Maleni.

Author(s): Mohamed Kemokai
Final project
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Supervisors: Hjalti Jóhannesson , Tryggvi Hallgrímsson
fisheries management; Sierra Leone; community management association (CMA);


Inland fisheries in Sierra Leone lacks guiding principles and legislation for sustainable utilisation and management. This was the main motivation to carry out a baseline study among persons involved in fisheries in seven communities where fisheries community management associations (CMAs) exist. This was done in order to obtain information on the inland fisheries resources, local knowledge on fisheries management and perception towards it among locals. The hope is this will influence the design of a sustainable inland fisheries management plan. In this study, 35 experienced fishers answered a questionnaire and five were interviewed from seven fishing communities along Lake Mabesi and the River Maleni. According to fishers, CMAs in the inland fisheries sector have made a success in formulating bylaws, conducting meetings and resolving disputes and conflicts. However, there is an indication of insufficient support from government to effectively implement fisheries policy. There are different perceptions about the main roles of the CMAs, but most mentioned the role they play in reducing the use of illegal fishing gear and conflict management. Findings of indigenous knowledge fishermen were able to identify major breeding grounds and spawning season. It is however evident that the use of small mesh size and fencing during spawning season is on the increase to target brooder entering the flood plains for spawning.

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