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Title Description of fishery management in the Whedos in the North of Benin

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Short title Mangement of Whedos

Author(s) Hauber, M.E. (1); Lalèyè, P. (2); Assongba, N. (3); Linsenmair, K.E. (1)

Presenting author Hauber, M.E.

Institution(s) (1) Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, University of Würzburg; (2) Laboratory of Hydrobiology and Aquaculture, University of Abomey-Calavi; (3) Service de Peche, Malanville

Keywords aquaculture; fish farming; fisheries

Abstract The aim of this study is the overall description of the fishery management system in the whedos in the commune of Malanville, northern Benin. Whedos are fish holes constructed in the floodplain to profit from the inundation of the rivers Sota, Alibori and Niger by catching fish at the time of retreat of the water. Information are gathered by personal observations and interviews of producers and consumers at the local fish market. These investigations include questions as to maintenance, exploitation period, harvesting practice, catch and output, processing and distribution chain, fish diversity as well as ecological parameters of the whedos.
More than 300 whedos were officially registered in 2007 and construction of new whedos is further going on showing big differences to those described from South-Benin. The decisive reasons for the fast progress of whedo construction is a declining importance of the amount of fish captured from the main rivers (Niger, Sota and Alibori), being a result of the increasing demographic pressure. Further driving forces are the improvement of fishing gears leading to higher catches per fisherman as well as the utilization of prohibited fishing practices. Moreover the climate change leading to the drying out of mares during the dry season, that usually constituted a source of fish, also plays an important role in supporting the increasing use of the whedos which are nourished by ground water.
Further aims of the studies are the improvement of the current system. This is indispensable not only to meet the increasing demand due to demographic growth but also to reduce pressure on aquatic resources and reduce the amount of imported frozen fish as well as to enhance the livelihood conditions of the producers. Therefore research on available by-products to formulate low-cost feed and market analysis including prices and consumer preferences were conducted.

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Ref. No. 669