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Issue No:78
  • :January
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.78, January 2018


Lake Ties

Fisherfolk use their social networks to navigate formal and informal rules in accessing the fisheries of Lake Victoria

This article is by Fiona Nunan (, Senior Lecturer, International Development Department, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Access to the fisheries of Lake Victoria in East Africa is often described as ‘open’, meaning that anyone can join the fisheries, but in both policy and practice, there are a number of formal measures and informal rules that have to be navigated to work and trade in the fisheries. Fisherfolk make use of their social networks to help them through this myriad of formal and informal rules and processes.

Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater body in the world, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people in the three countries bordering the Lake (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) through income, food and water. There are three main commercial fisheries: Nile perch, most of which is processed and exported through processing plants; Nile tilapia, serving mainly the domestic and regional markets; and, dagaa, a small sardine-like fish which is widely used in the region and exported to other African countries for both human and animal consumption.

The Lake is...

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