How fishers are responding to climate change

Climate change is increasingly affecting fisheries resources in the African Great Lakes. For example a recent study concluded that decline of fish yield in Lake Tanganyika in due to climate change not over fishing. Another study, which was an extensive review of the influence of climate change on inland fisheries in Africa, by myself and colleagues at the National fisheries Resources Research Institute, Uganda, found impacts of climate change on all aspects of the fisheries.  Fishers have to adapt to increase the resilience of their livelihoods.


In this picture, a former fisher on Lake Wamala, Uganda, an environmental change hot spot stands near a tree at his home on which he hanged fishing gear after turning to high value crops and livestock.

Fishers are undertaking several ways to respond to climate change impacts on fisheries. You can find more insights on how fishers are adapting in a blog I wrote some time back for the Global Landscapes Forum.

The documentary below, which is a production of the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute that was  developed by a team I was part of presents in detail using a case study, how climate change is influencing aquatic systems, fish yield, and livelihoods of fishing and riparian communities and how they can adapt.

Related publications

Musinguzi L. et al. 2016.  Fishers’ perceptions of climate change, impacts on their livelihoods and adaptation strategies in environmental change hotspots: a case of Lake Wamala, Uganda. Environment, development and sustainability, 18(4),1255–1273, DOI: 10.1007/s10668-015-9690-6.

Natugonza V.   Ogutu-Ohwayo R., Efitre J., Muyodi F., Mbabazi D., Olokotum M., Musinguzi L. et al. 2015.  The responses of Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) in Lake Wamala (Uganda) to changing climatic conditions.  Lakes and Reservoirs: Research and Management, 20, 101–119.

Ogutu-Ohwayo R., Natugonza, V., Musinguzi, L.,  Olokotum, M.,  Naigaga, S.,  2016. Implications of climate variability and change for African lake ecosystems, fisheries productivity, and livelihoods. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 42(3), 498–510,

Natugonza V., Ogutu-Ohwayo R., Musinguzi L., Olokotum, M., Naigaga S. & Kitabona J. 2016.  Implications of climate warming for hydrology and water balance of small shallow lakes: A case of Wamala and Kawi, Uganda. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management, DOI:10.1080/14634988.2016.1142167.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s