The project, titled “Benchmarking knowledge-based adaptive management of estuarine fisheries in South Africa for a sustainable development” aims to develop guidelines for knowledge-based governance of estuarine fisheries in South Africa to aid sustainable development in this sector. Through biological and socio-economic research, the project will assist the development of the blue economy and improve sustainability of ecosystem services and resource utilisation.
The exposed South African coastline hosts more than 250 sheltered estuaries which provide fishery opportunities for both small-scale (subsistence) and recreational users. The fisheries are important for income generation and food security, especially for rural impoverished communities. Unfortunately, most of the sought-after large-bodied fishery species are overexploited and the stocks of some have collapsed. This threatens the sustainability of the fishery and the livelihoods of fishers and vulnerable communities.
The primary objectives of the project are to:
- Produce high-quality, multidisciplinary, policy relevant research to address the adaptive management needs of the important estuarine fisheries in South Africa;
- Promote capacity building and gender redress through the involvement of female researchers and students at historically disadvantaged institutions; and
- Provide popularised knowledge-based products to fisheries stakeholders.
The workshop brought together a number of local representatives and experts and highlighted some of the severe challenges impacting on the sustainability of all of our estuaries today. We were also able to table and consider a number of enablers which we anticipate could lead to a greater understanding of the challenges faced by stakeholders and further steps that could lead to an improvement in the way we use and abuse our estuaries today.
Estuary Care would like to thank Dr. Aidan Wood and his associates for inviting us to participate and allowing us to include a copy of the workshop report in our newsletter. We look forward to sharing the outcomes of his team’s research and hope that these will contribute to a greater appreciation by all stakeholders of the need to preserve and manage our estuaries carefully and proactively.
Should you have any comments and/or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, we would love to hear from you and share your input with the project team.