Fishing is a primary livelihood earner for the coastal communities of Kenya and Tanzania, in particular the artisanal fishers who contribute about 90 - 95 % of the fish caught in the marine waters of the two countries. Major livelihoods are derived through utilisation of the fisheries resource for food (provision of nutritional requirement), creation of job opportunities and income generation for the fishing households. East African waters are heterogeneously rich, and the artisanal fishers who depend on this important resource are poor.
The purpose of the project was to develop a better understanding of the fisheries dependent livelihoods, and identify the nature and sources of constraints to their development, so as to recommend measures for improving the livelihoods of the fisheries dependent communities in Kenya and Tanzania. This was achieved through carrying out a three-stage study involving (a) a Review of marine fisheries in Kenya and Tanzania to characterise fisheries and fisheries stakeholders, determine the status of fisheries resources, identify information gaps and select representative areas where further research is needed, (b) Livelihoods appraisals to determine the dependence of coastal communities on fisheries resources, increase understanding of fisheries associated use patterns and local management and investigate the relative wealth of stakeholders and the factors affecting it, and (c) Multi-stakeholder participatory learning and problem census workshops in Kenya and Tanzania to identify constraints and plan development strategies and formation of coalition learning groups at the local community level to act as future development reference groups.
FANRM; MKK; MRAG. Understanding Fisheries Livelihoods and Constraints to their Development: Kenya and Tanzania, Final Technical Report. (2003) 40 pp.