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Title: The role of small-scale inland capture fisheries for food security in Lake Chilwa
Author: Simmance, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 7960 667X
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Inland capture fisheries are an important source of food, nutrition, employment and income for millions of people globally, but primarily in developing countries. In Africa, where inland fisheries constitute the major supply of fish in some countries, there are regional variations in production. For example, East Africa has the highest production levels of fish, yet some countries, such as Malawi, experience one of the lowest per capita fish production level. Fish contributes to food security and nutrition through two main pathways. Fish can act as a cash crop generating income, which can increase purchasing power for other food items. In addition, fish directly consumed can improve food and nutritional security. Understanding the role and value of small-scale capture fisheries to livelihood and food security is a key challenge in conserving fisheries resources and livelihoods. This is particularly true for small-scale inland capture fisheries, which are one of the most under-reported and under-valued fisheries sectors. Evidence highlights the lack of understanding of the pathways by which fisheries contribute to food security, particularly by men and women along the value chain. In addition, the effects of climate change on local food security is poorly understood. Shallow lakes, such as Lake Chilwa in Malawi, have been shown to be sensitive to climate change where experiences of water level fluctuation are common. The aim of this thesis is to investigate the contribution of small-scale capture fisheries to food security, using the case study of Lake Chilwa, Malawi. To investigate the temporal stability of fish availability and the contributions of fisher livelihoods to income and food, the thesis employs the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach and the four pillars of food security. The study finds evidence that Lake Chilwa's fishery is influenced by the environment. Fish producing households consumed more fish and more diverse and nutritious diets, and had higher overall levels of food security compared to non-fishing households, which was achieved through direct and indirect pathways. The study contributes to the call for local level assessments of the impact of climate variability on inland small-scale fisheries and their value to food and nutritional security in rural communities. The findings are important for promoting effective fisheries management, climate adaptation and poverty alleviation development.
Supervisor: Poppy, Guy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available