Artisanal Fisher Folk's Perception of the Effects of Variability in Climatic Factors on Fish Yield in Kainji Lake Basin, Nigeria
This study assessed the artisanal fisher folk's perception of the effects of variability in climatic factors on fish yield in Kainji Lake basin. The specific objectives were to: describe the socio-economic characteristics of the respondents; assess the artisanal fisher folk's perception of the effects of variability in climatic factors on fish yield; and assess the influence of variability in climatic factors on fish yield. Both primary and secondary data was used for the study. Primary data was collected from 173 respondents using structured questionnaires while secondary data was obtained from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the National Institute of Freshwater Fisheries Research (NIFFR), all of them located in New Bussa, Niger State. Once collected, the data was analyzed based on descriptive and inferential statistics involving the use of multiple regression models. As shown by the results, 91.32% of respondents were male; many (75.14%) of them aged between 41 and 60. Most of them (90.18%) were married and had Quranic education (96.62%). 48.74% had a household composed of 6 to 10 members. The respondents perceived all the factors of climate variability (draught, change in the lake's water levels, variations in the seasonal calendar, change in seasonal rainfall, Harmattan intensity and change in temperatures) as unfavorable developments (with small variations in the mean scores). As an exception, humidity and change in sunlight conditions were believed to be favorable aspects by the respondents. The implication is that all the variables except humidity and change in sunlight conditions will adversely affect the fish yield, as claimed by the respondents. As shown by the results of a multiple regression study of the influence of variability in climatic factors on fish yield, the temperature had a negative influence on fish yield, whereas water inflow had a positive effect. The study recommends that the local population should attend adult literacy classes and improve their formal education levels. The management of NIFFR and other higher authorities, such as the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Environment, that are vested with the responsibility of managing the water bodies, should be advised to stock the water bodies with fish species that are resistant to temperature. In turn, the artisanal fisher folk should be encouraged to improve on their management practices, especially as regards overfishing and the use of obnoxious fishing methods. Also, they should extend their livelihood to such areas as crop production, animal breeding, trading/commerce and services as alternative income diversification strategies to cushion the effect of declining fish yields as a result of climate change. (original abstract)
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