Small Water Body Field Projects
ALCOM is currently executing five small water body pilot
projects. Four of those are sub-national pilot projects
with similir activities in Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. A
fifth pilot project is covering SADC and aims at the development of methods
for yield estimation and production enhancement
linked with the establishment of a SWB database.
All information from the pilot projects in entered in a comprehensive database
Sub-national pilot projects
The projects are focussing on a limited number of reservoirs in each
country: five dams in Tanzania (Morogoro region), six in Malawi (Southern
Malawi), six in Zambia (Southern Province) and nine in Zimbabwe (Mberengwa
and Insiza districts). The indepth studies cover the following aspects:
- Physico-chemical characteristics of the water bodies, and more
specifically the fluctuations in these characteristics during a whole year.
Most reservoirs are situated in dry areas and are build on seasonal rivers.
This means that during the dry season the reservoirs reduce in surface
area and in water depth while also the water quality changes. This has
immediate effects on the fish and the fish production of these reservoirs.
- Structure of the fish populations. What are the species present
in the reservoirs and how do they cope with the seasonal changes in the
reservoirs. Do all species still manage to grow when the water levels are
low, or is the natural mortality very high during these periods.
- Socio-economic situation of the people that are using the reservoirs.
In what way is the fish population managed by the communities living around
these reservoirs. What gear do they use. When do they fish and how much
do they catch. Is this the optimal way to exploit the reservoirs or are
there possibilities for improvement.
- Fishing effort and CPUE are determined by a monthly creel survey.
This is a 3 day survey done by community members who interview all fishers
around the water body to register the time that they fish, the species
and quantities of fish they caught and the final destination of the fish
(auto-consumption, selling) as well as eventual processing. By this creel
survey, total catch can be estimated by extrapolating fishing effort and
using the catch per unit of effort for each fishing method or gear.
The pilot projects try to identify the relation between these aspects
and come up with answers on how the management of these reservoirs can
For more information contact:
The Small Reservoir Fisheries Officer, ALCOM
Mail: PO Box 3730, Harare, Zimbabwe
Location : Fisheries Research Unit, National Parks Complex,
Sandringham Drive, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telephone: 263-4-734797, 724985
Telex: 260-40 FAO ZW
Return to ALCOM main page