Fishing in a bathtub: a comprehension of the conflicts in the Lake Kariba inshore fishery (Zimbabwe)
MetadataShow full item record
Some of the. management problems in the Lake Kariba fishery are related to conflicts between different categories of actors. Principally, there is marked antagonism between gill-net fishing and the tourism industry. Artisanal fishermen are accused of engaging in rampant gill netting especially in river mouths that are officially closed to commercial fishing to protect breeding fish. The fishing activities of artisanal fishermen are believed to reduce the population and individual size of the Tiger Fish thereby negatively affecting the International Tiger Fish Competition of which the fishery is globally known. Furthermore, the activities of artisanal fishermen especially in fishing grounds adjacent to wildlife areas conflict with the notion of wilderness upon which tourism in the fishery and surrounding areas is based. In order to resolve these conflicts the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management instituted a co-management arrangement in the inshore fishery. However, these efforts did not lead to a substantial reduction of the conflicts. The purpose of this chapter is to trace the source of these conflicts to colonial land tenure policies that divided the lake-shore into different spheres of usage. These policies were aimed at promoting the emergence of a major tourist industry. In the process, however, they led to the marginalization of the artisanal fishermen who have responded by ignoring the divisions and encroaching into fishing grounds reserved for other actors. The chapter further goes to show that although some changes to these divisions along the lake-shore have been attempted over the years and new management regimes instituted to address the conflicts, these have not been adequate. Primarily, this is because these adjustments and new management regimes have tended to maintain the existing status quo in terms of land tenure' policies. The chapter argues that while co-management regimes are seen as reducing conflicts in the way a commons is utilized, they need to address the historical, social and economic contexts that have informed the manner in which that commons is accessed and utilized.