WIOFish Database

Small-scale fisheries of the western Indian Ocean (WIO) play an important role in assuring food security for coastal people and therefore directly contribute to poverty alleviation, environmental and social protection for coastal communities. Estimates of the total artisanal fish catch rivals the 4 million Mt reported annually by commercial fleets from the same region. However, the per capita availability of fish in Sub-Saharan countries is declining at 2.6% per year and depleted resources pose an increasing threat to communities already made vulnerable by poverty, disease, climate change, and social inequality. At the onset of this project, very few of the small-scale fisheries have been formally identified and described and, accordingly, even fewer drew potential benefits from scientific assessment and management support that promotes sustainable development. The main elements of the WIOFish system were created by the partnership activities of the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI – South Africa), Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI – Kenya), Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS – Tanzania), the Fisheries Research Institute (IIP – Mozambique) and the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA – Seychelles). In this funding cycle the project focussed on completing the annual comprehensive update of the information on the database as well as for the first time adding information for the fisheries of Madagascar, analysing all the data and providing a French user-interface for the database.

Small-scale fishers mending their fishing nets (Zanzibar, Tanzania)