World Aquaculture - December 2023

48 DECEMBER 2023 • WORLD AQUACULTURE • WWW.WAS.ORG Introduction Cognizant of the everdwindling capture fisheries resources against the rapid growth in demand for fish protein in many households in developing countries (FAO, 2022; Nyamweya et al., 2022), deliberate efforts have been made to increase fish production, mainly through land-based fish farms in the past. While such efforts have inherent challenges of competing interests on land and lake water resources, there exist several vast inland water masses such as dams and small water bodies whose fish production potential has not been fully utilized (Aura et al., 2023a). This is because global challenges to aquaculture development result from the increasing demand for the “blue” space driven by competing needs in economic development to support growing populations (Aura et al, 2023b). Dams have a great role in the development of fish productivity and biodiversity by providing new habitats and niches for survival and growth in a suitable environment (Aura et al., 2022a). Dams play a significant role in the sustainable growth of inland fisheries, and dam productivity leads to economic wealth (EEA ETC/ ICM, 2009). The growing number of mainstream dams in the world’s major river basins and their potential impact on riparian communities has received a lot of attention in recent years (Welcomme and Bartley, 1998). However, the role of dams in aquaculture and in the reduction of rural poverty has been largely neglected, and current national fish production statistics do not include all dams (Aura et al., 2022b). However, it is critical that promoting sustainable fisheries development does not harm the environment and considers all sectors and resource users involved in the inclusion of dams (Amoussou et al., 2017). Furthermore, fish restocking in dams and lakes is one of the oldest management strategies, but it has sparked controversy because it has disrupted native fish ecosystems, contributed to the loss of wild strains, and, in many cases, reduced genetic diversity (Braithwaite and Salvanes, 2010). Nonetheless, restocking can play an important role in dams by supplementing capture fisheries management when done correctly. Dam management harbors the potential to enhance sustainable food production opportunities, local employment for youth and Vulnerable Marginalized Groups (VMGs), nutritional resources, and resilience in the aquaculture and fisheries sectors. The situation is mirrored with various challenges that mainly originate from development within the basins. This has resulted in pollution from agricultural, industrial and municipal sources, limiting productivity of these aquatic ecosystems (DMS, 2020). Other challenges are related to governance issues such as fragmented policies for aquatic resource development, and inadequate policy intervention and poor regional institutional frameworks (FAO, 2019). This paper highlights critical aspects for the development of the Framework for Community-based Dam Aquaculture (FCODA) as a systematic approach to manage community dam resources sustainably, so that the community can benefit from all activities that can be supported by such a resource. The development of the Framework for Community-based Dam Aquaculture (FCODA) The development of such a framework for any study locality requires a participatory and consultative process based on primary and secondary data and information and expert opinions. The primary information could be sourced from scientific findings on dam surveys. Secondary data and information sourced may include the existing Dam or small water bodies Management Strategies, Government policy documents on aquaculture such as Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth strategies, Blue Economy strategies and policy documents, and Government’s Economic Transformation Agenda. The development of the framework would be guided by the government Vision and the Constitution. Other secondary information that would be critical would be from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Continental Agenda, and regional policy documents on aquaculture. Figure 1 shows the schematic approach that could be used in the development of the Framework for Community-based Dam Aquaculture (FCODA). The Framework can be divided into Unbundling sustainable communitybased dam aquaculture for blue growth Christopher Mulanda Aura, Grace Njagi, Ruth Lewo Mwarabu, Chrisphine S. Nyamweya, Jane Fonda Awuor, Safina Musa, Collins Ongore, Sammy Macharia and James M. Njiru FIGURE 1. Schematic approach that can be used in the development of the Framework for Community-based Dam Aquaculture (FCODA).