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Improving the resilience of inland fishery in Benin

The project "Improving the resilience of the inland fisher communities and aquatic systems to overfishing and water resource degradation" (IRIF) is a 3-year project (2015-2018) implemented in Southern Benin (West Africa).

Inland fishery communities in Benin are facing increasing stress levels due to a growing population, pollution from urban areas and changing climatic conditions. The overall objective of the project is to explore the vulnerability of the inland fishing sector to the increasing pressure on water resources that is caused by a mounting population, pollution from urban areas and climate change. 

We use a multidisciplinary approach where biophysical conditions, socio-economic characteristics and institutions are formally integrated to analyse the resilience and food security situation of the fisher communities. In the end, the project expects a sustainable use of water resources for inland fishing with increased resilience against external factors that should increase fish production and improve livelihoods of fishers’ communities (men and women).

The following activities are beign implemented: 

  • Literature review, questionnaires development and data collection
  • Study on the impact of water degradation on fishery production potential
  • Technical and market analysis of new/improved techniques
  • Development of Research Papers/Policy Briefs
  • Workshop on regulatory rules of shared water resources for inland fishing
  • Workshop on extension materials produced for new/improved techniques

Expected outcomes

  • Better understanding of inland fishing vulnerability by fishers
  • Application of better evidence-based regulatory rules of shared water resources
  • Uptake of new/improved fishing techniques and technologies
  • Increase of the income of women involved in fishing activities

The project is funded by the Food & Business Applied Research Fund of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and implemented by ACED in partnership with the Centre for World Food Studies of the VU University Amsterdam (SOW-VU) and the Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Aquaculture of the university of Abomey-Calavi (LHA-UAC).