Date of Award
Master of Science in Maritime Affairs
Oceans Sustainability, Governance & Management
Bellefontaine, Neil A.
Fishing in Cameroon is one of the main economic activities and lifeline of the coastal communities in the South West Region of Cameroon, especially the artisanal fishing which is mostly traditional and subsistence. Cameroon fisheries are either fully exploited or are already in the critical state of over-exploitation by foreigners and local communities. However, illegal fishing and aggressive fishing practices in the marine environment has led to over exploitation of the fisheries, mangroves and environmental deterioration. There is an urgent need to develop and introduce effective and efficient sustainable approaches, to the exploitation and management of Cameroon’s fisheries and other environmental resources before they are completely depleted. Lack of scientific data and cooperation from the rural community-based organizations increases uncertainty and prevents the adequate monitoring of marine resources. This research focuses on the rural community-based organizations as an effective approach, of integration to local fishing communities into decision-making processes, with the aim to promote sustainable artisanal fisheries and support capacity building amongst stakeholders in the coastal areas of SWR Cameroon. Because the artisanal fishers are resource poor, small-scale fishers, with little knowledge and skills, using elementary technology and traditional methods for fishing, there is an urgent need for an effective and efficient sustainable approach, and a need to elaborate collective proposals with policy implications to ensure sustainable fisheries. Overall, these rural communities-based organizations will be a forum or platform for these small-scale, resource poor, low skilled and knowledge deficit communities’ members to pool their resources together for the purpose of pursuing their common economic goals. They also support and inspire the use of the most suitable fishing skills, equipment and methods in their campaigns and programs aimed at promoting sustainable fishing, especially for artisanal fishing as a means to alleviate poverty and achieve rural development.