Inland fisheries is a source of livelihoods for people living in rural areas and in many countries it provides jobs for millions of people.
The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) says that a recent estimate of employment and income for seven major river basins found that in West and Central Africa alone fisheries provides livelihoods to more than 227,000 full-time fishers and yields an annual catch of about 570,000 tons with a first-sale value of $295 million, while in the whole of Africa over 10 million people are supported by fisheries (http://www.nepad.org/foodsecurity/fisheries/inland-fisharies).
Recently the South African Minister of Agriculture forestry and Fisheries while visiting communities in the Eastern Cape Province said that alongside agriculture, inland fishing holds the key to job creation, the fisheries sector, including aquaculture, has a critical role to play in meeting one of the greatest challenges confronting the world – food security (http://www.daff.gov.za/daffweb3/Home/aid/161).
The scoping study on the development and sustainable utilisation of small-scale inland fisheries done by BN Tapela, PJ Britza, QA Rouhani in 2014 provides a knowledge base to inform the development of policy and institutional arrangements for inland fishery governance.
Could it be time for South Africa to explore the possibilities of inland fisheries and develop a policy that will provide income and food security for the many depended on resources provided by this fishery?