Artisanal fisher migration patterns in coastal East Africa
Migration is a feature of most small-scale fisheries across the world and has previously been described in spatial and temporal terms. This study assessed spatial and temporal migration patterns of fishers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique from October 2009 to March 2010 covering important migrant fishers destinations on the coast. The concentrations, fishing destinations, routes, frequency as well as seasonality of migrant fishers in each of the countries were assessed using 192 surveys at 9 sites and 127 semi-structured interviews at 25 sites. Migrations in Kenya and Tanzania were mainly seasonal while in Mozambique circular migrations were common and lasted far longer. Fishers from Pemba, Unguja and Nampula were the most experienced migrant fishers in terms of the numbers involved and their ability to migrate to distant destinations. The region is likely to experience increasing influxes of migrant fishers due to increasing fisher numbers, fisheries governance, and other factors that provide an environment conducive to migration. The small scales of operation of the local co-management structures, the lack of monitoring ability and the limited knowledge about activities of migrant fishers requires a shared regional approach in terms of fisheries management with specific attention to issues concerning migrant fishers.