Benin: Do unto your fish...
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CTA. 1999. Benin: Do unto your fish.... Spore 82. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Forty years ago, fishers of the coastal lagoons of Benin still used to follow rules handed down from the time of their ancestors. They were usually expressed as religious taboos: do not catch fish when they are too young, do not fish on certain...
Forty years ago, fishers of the coastal lagoons of Benin still used to follow rules handed down from the time of their ancestors. They were usually expressed as religious taboos: do not catch fish when they are too young, do not fish on certain days or in certain places. These rules had been followed for more than three centuries and were based on a profound understanding of how the fish stock renewed itself. With the loss of authority of the traditional chiefs, the advent of other religions and, above all, the growth in the number of fishers, the rules were swept away. Catches shrank, the fish caught were smaller, and conflicts between fishers increased everyday. In 1992, the government of Benin decided to set up fishing committees in 20 villages around the lagoon of Porto-Novo, with representatives elected by local fishers. The representatives were themselves fishers and not remunerated; they had the task of applying the old practices and providing information about national fishing regulations and applying them. Now there are 90 such committees in operation, working with the Beninese authorities in fishery management.(see also article: 'Living dangerously on the edge') Source FAO. The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 1998. ISBN 92 5 104187 3. $30.00 o h 29.25 Sales and Marketing Group FAO. Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy. Fax: +39 06 57 05 33 60 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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