Integrated Planning

Sustainable Inland Fisheries

EU Fisheries Project

Community Conservation Fisheries in KAZA

Funding: European Union, additional funding - SASSCAL/NNF/SAREP/SAIAB.

Partners: Government Fisheries Department (Zambia), Okavango Research Institute, University of Namibia.

Date: Started in January 2013 till Jine 2018.

Contact person: Britta Hackenberg



Community-based management of river and floodplain fisheries in rivers and floodplains in the Upper Zambezi, Chobe and Okavango catchments in Namibia, Zambia and Botswana.

The purpose of the project is to contribute to environmental conservation and to improve socio-economic benefits and food security, especially for women, children and the rural poor through capacity building and the development of regional and international networking platforms.

Main activities

  • Using lessons learned from current NNF Project in Caprivi, Namibia, to develop similar community based management systems for other fisheries areas in the Zambezi, Chobe and Okavango River Systems
  • Establish fishery committees at local level for different fishery areas.
  • Establish cross border steering committees at different levels (communities, conservancies, local authorities, government departments/ministries, etc.) to enhance communication links and facilitate information exchange to improve fisheries management.
  • Promote harmonization of fisheries legislation between countries.
  • Exchange visits carried out with neighbouring communities (regional and international) to discuss best practices and lessons learned, and to develop comprehensive management plans and formal agreements.
  • Capacity building in fisheries management, particularly at local community level but also at local government level and in fisheries departments.
  • Identify suitable sites for Fish Protected Areas (FPAs) based on habitat suitability for key fish species.
  • Community capacity building in monitoring and evaluation of FPAs.
  • Engage with communities to halt the use of destructive fishing gears.
  • Support for expansion of Namibian fish ranching programme into suitable water bodies in neighbouring countries.
  • Facilitate and coordinate research programmes on the fish, fisheries, and dependent communities in each country.

Target groups

All conservancies in Namibia in the project area:Setting up of fisheries committees and establishing management programmes, establishment of FPAs, developing by-laws guided by the project and in partnership with MFMR.
Other fishing communities in Namibia in areas not covered by conservancies: Develop partnerships through the establishment of fisheries committees under guidance by project in close cooperation with MFMR, Traditional Authorities and Regional Councils.
Community trusts in Zambia: Setting up of fisheries committees and establishing management programmes, establishment of FPAs, developing bye-laws guided by the project and in partnership with the Barotse Royal Establishment and the Department of Fisheries.
Other fishing communities in Zambia in areas not covered by community trusts:Develop partnerships through the establishment of fisheries committees under guidance by project in close cooperation with DoF, Barotse Royal Establishment and other relevant local and traditional authorities.
Fishing communities in Botswana:Develop partnerships through the establishment of fisheries committees under guidance by project in close cooperation with fisheries departments and other relevant research institutes, as well as local and traditional authorities.
Project associates

Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), University of Hull International Fisheries Institute (Professor I.G. Cowx), South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, Government Fisheries Departments (Botswana, Zambia and Namibia), Government Fisheries Department Angola, African Wildlife Foundation, World Wildlife Fund.

This Project is funded by The European Union


AUS DAP FISH - NNF Consultancy

Support Integrated Fisheries Management in the two existing Fish Protected Areas (FPA's) and support the establishment of additional three FPA's. 

Funding: The Direct Aid Programme (DAP)

Date: 2019

Contact person: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Project Background

Following many years of research and community support, NNF's interventions on fisheries have resulted in the Sikunga and Impalila conservancies establishing pilot FPA's on the Zambezi River which were subsequently formally designated as "Fish Reserves" by the government. The success of these areas in local stock recoveries has generated significant interest from surrounding communities to also establish their own FPA's. At the same time, Sikunga and Impalila face challenges of managing their FPA's. 



The project aims at providing continued support to the existing FPA's with better integrated management and helping to channel corporate interest from lodges into longer term sustainable partnerships. In addition, there is the need to assist surrounding communities to establish their own FPA's. 

The project also aims for the following: 

- Strengthen community ownership over FPA's

- Better stakeholder collaboration in the co-management of FPA's.

- Assisting neighbouring communities to properly gazette FPA's

Support cross-border dialogue for better transboundary management of the fisheries. 



- On-going support to the existing FPA's - mainly supporting adn collating community monitoring of fish catches; fish guard activities in conjunction with the authorities and partnerships with private lodges and tourism operators. In addition, support cross-border dialogue. 

- Support stakeholder meetings, dialogue and steps towards the establishment of new FPA's, much of this has already been initiated under the current project but will need to be carried forward through 2019 to ensure gazetting. 


Completed Projects

Integrated Co-management Fisheries Resources

Funding: WWF Norway

Partners: Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, NNF, WWF 

Project dates: January 2010 to December 2012


Project details

The fish resources of the Zambezi and Chobe rivers and associated Caprivi floodplains are both a vital component of the livelihoods of the floodplain inhabitants and a major angling tourist attraction. Fish is thus a major contributor to food security and the local economy.

Improved communications in the area and consequent increased commercialisation of the fishery was identified as a major threat to rural livelihoods and to aquatic biodiversity through over-exploitation of the larger fish species that are most valuable for both food and for angling tourism. Concerns were expressed by the local fishing communities and by the tourist organisations that the fishery was in serious decline as a result of widespread use of illegal and destructive fishing methods, and the results of monitoring programmes carried out since 1997 by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources confirmed over-exploitation of the large tilapiine cichlid species.

The Zambezi/Chobe fisheries project was thus conceived as a way of empowering the local communities to manage the resources in a sustainable way through the formation of local management committees and devolution of responsibility for management, as envisaged in the Namibian constitution and the Inland Fisheries White Paper. The project set out to facilitate management of the fisheries by developing a system of integrated co-management and, because the Zambezi fishery is a shared resource with Zambia, harmonisation of activities and cooperation in surveys and monitoring. It has always been acknowledged that this type of activity requires a long term commitment. After the first phase of the project ended in December 2009, the second phase ran from January 2010 to December 2012. Management of the project was shared between Mr D. Tweddle as Project Executant and Dr C. Hay as Project Co-executant.

Project outputs

Output 1: Cross-border collaboration achieved in management of the fisheries resources.

Output 2: Management plan for the fisheries developed during Project Phase 1 successfully implemented (in collaboration with neighbouring countries) for the benefit of the communities.

Output 3: Fish Protection Areas established and fully functional in targeted pilot communities.

Output 4: Tourist angling lodges operating in agreement with local fishing/conservancy committees.

Output 5: Capacity built in research and monitoring of fish resource.

Output 6: Collaboration in next phase of NNF fish ranching project.