The impacts of climate change on fishermen economies in Tanzania: a case of Bagamoyo district

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study aimed at investigating the impacts of climate change on fishermen economies in Tanzania, with the case study of Bagamoyo district, Coast region, Tanzania. Specifically, the study intended: (i) to find out the economic importance of fish industry in the study area, (ii) to investigate climate change parameters affecting fish industry in Bagamoyo district (iii) to investigate the impacts of climate change on fishermen economic trend over the past ten years (2002-2012) in the study area, (iv) to investigate the adaptation strategies against climate change impacts in the fish industry practiced in the study villages of Pande, Kondo and Mlingotini. The villages were selected based on their geographical location in the coastal area, and fishing is their major economic activity. A random sampling technique was used to select sample households which engaged in fishing activities. There was also focus group discussion, key informants interviews and physical observations. Descriptive statistics and linear regression model were used to analyze data using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Results show that the impact of climate change to the fishermen economy has been high in terms of fish catch and incomes. Fish per fish catch per fisher per day has declined from an average of 24.5kgs in 2002 to only 6.8kgs in 2012. Following this, the income has declined from an average of 36,577 Tshs to 14,631Tshs per fisher per day during the two periods. This has declined by 72.4% and 60% of fish catch and income respectively during the same period. Through regression analysis, one variable was found to be significant in affecting fish catch and the fishermen economy. This was the temperature of ocean water (α = -0.669, p < 0.05). Another variable was rainfall pattern which had positive impact on fish catch, but was not significant (α = 0.262, p<0.1). Apart from climate factors affecting fish catch and fishers’ economy in the study area, also the results showed that there were non-climatic factors such as illegal fishing e.g. the use of dynamites, use of small mesh size nets and poor fish handling from fishing to the markets that had contributed to the declined fish catch and fishers’ economies. There have been a number of adaptation strategies by communities to mitigate the impacts of climate change. These include livelihood diversification such as beekeeping, keeping of local chicken, small scale irrigation agriculture, seaweed farming and involvement in petty business; Also, environmental conservation e.g. on mangroves for fish habitat improvement. It is recommended that, the adaptation practices that are being undertaken by the communities should be enhanced. There should be also improved access to credits, extension services and dissemination of weather information and early warnings by Tanzania Meteorology Agency (TMA). More research should be undertaken to complement indigenous knowledge on climate change adaptation.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QC981.8.C5T34S44)
Climate changes, Fishers, Economic aspects, Bagamoyo district, Tanzania
Selenge, Y. H (2014) The impacts of climate change on fishermen economies in Tanzania: a case of Bagamoyo district, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.