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Researchers study links between conflict and fisheries in East Africa
Date:11/19/2012

mocratic Republic of the Congo. All these countries, except Tanzania, have experienced recent or ongoing conflicts whose impacts have directly affected the food security of the area's 40-million people, as well as fishing patterns among local villagers.

The NSF-funded project builds on Hendrix and Glaser's groundbreaking study of the global interplay between conflict and fisheries. That study, which earned a Journal of Peace Research "Article of the Year Award" in 2011, showed a clear connection between conflict intensity and a reduction in reported fish landings.

"There's a dramatic impact," says Glaser. "Civil conflicts are associated, on average, with a 16% reduction in fish catch reported to the United Nations. That's 13 times greater than the losses attributed to El Nio, one of the most familiar natural causes of reduced fisheries production."

Complex Connections

Though the link between conflict intensity and reduced landings is clear on a global basis, the links between conflict and fisheries around Lake Victoria are more complex. Indeed, recent catch data show that the lake's total landingsfrom Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda combinedwere actually on the upswing through some of the most intense periods of fighting in the early 2000s.

"That's what we're interested in," says Glaser, "figuring out what's really going on in and around the lake." Glaser will focus on the lake's ecosystem and fisheries, while Hendrix focuses on economic and social factors.

"What we're trying to do is take all of this stufffood prices, labor-market dynamics, violence in the regionand understand it through the framework of Coupled Natural and Human Systems analysis," says Hendrix.

"We want to break down the landings data by location and species, and to better understand how the influx of refugees from the conflict in northern Uganda is affecting the fishery," adds Glaser.

That conflictdriven by Joseph Kony and hi
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Contact: David Malmquist
davem@vims.edu
804-684-7011
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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