New Publication: Finding Space for Participation: fisherfolk mobility and co-management of Lake Victoria fisheries

Fiona Nunan announces the publication of the article "Finding Space for Participation: fisherfolk mobility and co-management of Lake Victoria fisheries", written from her work on Lake Victoria, East Africa, with colleagues from the Fisheries Research Institutes of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda: J. Luomba, C. A. Lwenya, B. Ntambi, K. Odongkara and E. O Yongo.


The literature on fisheries co-management is almost silent on the issue of the movement of fisherfolk within fisheries, although such movement must have implications for the effectiveness of co-management. The introduction of co-management often involves the formation of new structures that should enable the participation of key stakeholder groups in decision-making and management, but such participation is challenging for migrating fishers.

The article reports on a study on Lake Victoria, East Africa, which investigated the extent of movement around the lake and the implications of movement for how fishers participate and are represented in co-management, and the implications of the extent and nature of movement for co-management structures and processes.

The analysis draws on the concept of space from the literature on participation in development and on a framework of representation in fisheries co-management in addressing these questions. The created space is on an ‘invited’ rather than open basis, reflecting the top-down nature of implementation and the desire to secure participation of different occupational groups, as well as women in a male-dominated sector. The more powerful boat owners dominate positions of power within the co-management system, particularly as the levels of co-management, from sub-district to national, are traversed. The limited power and resources of boat crew are exacerbated by the degree and nature of movement around the lake, making effective participation in co-management decision-making a challenge.

The article is available online with the journal Environmental