Perceptions and adaptation strategies of fishers to climate variability: A case study of Lake Kariba fishery, Siavionga District
Siavonga district has for the last two decades experienced rainfall that is declining, unpredictable and poorly distributed and increasing temperatures. Climate impact studies on Lake Kariba Kapenta fish stocks show that increased temperature and reduced rainfall are the main climatic factors affecting fish catch. However, very few studies have considered resource users perceptions and their adaptation to climatic variability and change. The aim of the study was to investigate the perceptions of Kapenta fishers on climate variability and their adaptation to its impact in Siavonga district. Perceptual statements, socio-economic characteristics and adaptation strategies data were collected using a questionnaire. A Likert scale, descriptive statistics and multiple regression using SPSS 16.0 and content analysis using the code of conduct for responsible fisheries and the climate-smart agriculture sourcebook were used to analyze the data collected. A random sampling technique was used to select 90 rigs out of a total of 157 fishing rigs in Siavonga district. The study showed that the majority of fishers were aware of climate variability (79 respondents, 87.7%). The general perceptions were that, about 44 (49.2%) respondents perceived a decrease in rainfall; about 53 (59%) respondents perceived a decline in fish catches; and 49 (54.1%) respondents did not know if there had been a change in temperature. Multiple regression analysis showed that Age (p ≤ 0.01), Years of Fishing Experience (p ≤ 0.024) and Number of Extension Visits (p ≤ 0.054) had the most significant relationship with perception of climate variability. About 9 (10%) respondents were not adapting to any changes in climate or catches and 81 (90%) respondents were adapting to impacts of climate variability using a variety of strategies. Of the strategies, 64.3% of the strategies used have the potential to be climate-smart. It is concluded that fishers do perceive climate variability and these perceptions are affected by their socio-economic characteristics. The fishers are adapting to these changes, with the majority of the strategies having the potential to be climate-smart.
- Agricultural Sciences