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Sustainable Use of African Rainforest Rivers

booth 1610

Project #: 05-1610



World Fish Center

Organization for

Environment and Sustainable Development



Link Reports:

123, 4



Project Description
To improve local incomes and encourage sustainable exploitation of the Lower Guinea rainforest rivers of southern Cameroon .
The 8 million inhabitants of the Lower Guinean rainforest of Cameroon depend heavily upon river ecosystems for their livelihoods, with 20 percent of the population, mostly women and children, fishing year-round. Declining fish yields and increasing poverty among rainforest communities are linked to overfishing, forest destruction, and a resulting loss of local biodiversity. At the same time, the rivers contain over 200 species of ornamental fish valued at US$1.8 million per ton in the international aquarium trade. However the economic incentives for local communities to protect the habitat of these ornamental fish are insufficient or poorly understood which contributes to the destruction of one million hectares of the rainforest ecosystem annually.
Innovation / Expected Results 

This project would develop community-based business models to raise and sell ornamental fish through a multi-stage capacity building program. This training program would include safe fish capture, handling and culture, as well as management and marketing skills. By transforming the primary fishers, women and youth, into producers and merchants, this project would focus on a group that usually loses the bulk of fishing profits to middlemen. The project team expects to develop commercial aquaculture skills for at least 150 fishers and increase returns to local communities by at least 500 percent. The economic incentive of higher incomes would motivate local communities to implement sustainable fishery plans that protect three rainforest streams for improved fish abundance and diversity.



Project Manager



Randall Brummett

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