GENERAL REPRESENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FLANDERS

IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

EMBASSY OF BELGIUM
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Support for small-scale fishers through WWF South Africa and Abalobi
Flanders Representative - South Africa 606

Support for small-scale fishers through WWF South Africa and Abalobi

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"Building climate resilience of coastal communities, ecosystems and small scale fishers through implementing community and ecosystem based adaptation activities and diversifying livelihoods" is a project by WWF South Africa (https://www.wwf.org.za/our_work/water/), with the support of the Government of Flanders, in partnership with Department of Environmental Affairs. WWF-SA initiated the project in response to declining fish catches in the Kogelberg region. Local fishers have cited the change in coastal climatic conditions as one of the causes. This impacts them directly in terms of food security and livelihoods, since they sell the fish to generate income.

WWF-SA is collaborating with ABALOBI (http://abalobi.info/) to assist these fishers by monitoring and recording their catches and then linking them directly to the market via a mobile application. What makes the project even more interesting is that fishers also capture their local ecological knowledge as well as their fishing activities and climatic conditions on the day they go out fishing. This information allows them to co-develop resilience-building projects in their communities, effectively making them active stewards of the marine resources on which they depend.

WWF-SA also works with fishers in the area to implement a community driven research project, which uses Baited Remote Underwater Videos to record fish relative abundance, species richness and habitat type inside and outside the Bettys Bay MPA (Marine Protected Area). In collaboration with ABALOBI and the CSIR, WWF-SA will also implement these projects in Hamburg, Eastern Cape.
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