Integrated Fisheries Resource Management
Integrated Fisheries Resources Management is an initiative and strategies aimed at addressing the issue of how fish resources in a nation can be best shared between competing users within the broad context of ecologically sustainable development so that they can be managed on a sustainable basis (Davies et al, 2008).
Hunger and malnutrition remain amongst the most devastating problems facing the world poor and needy. Nigeria is one of the developing countries affected by hunger, deprivation and abject poverty by its citizenry in spite of its enormous natural and human resources hence the need for proper fisheries resource management (Alamu et al, 2004). Nigeria is among the largest fish consumers in the world with over 1.5 million tons of fish consumed annually. Fish farming in Nigeria has it antecedents in the traditional African reciprocal, communal, technical, labour support/skills transfer system of about 10,000 years ago. Fish production from aquaculture accounted for about 96,000 metric tons in year 2000, while only 20,000 metric tons in 1994 (FAO, 2002).
Integrated resource management involving fish is defined broadly as the concurrent or sequential linkage between two or more human activity system under proper regulation, of which at least one is aquaculture. Furthermore, the linkages between aquaculture and human activities involve not only agriculture ( i.e. crops, livestock, irrigation dams canals) but also include roles in sanitation (night soil, septage or other forms of human excreta re-use, sewage treatment), nutrient recovery (hydroponic-fish, breweries) and energy recovery (culture in heated effluents of power plants, dairies, etc) (Prein, 2002). In contrast, theoreticians used to differentiate Integrated Fish resource management from mixed farming, in which production sub-systems of a farm are not mutually supportive and do not depend on each other. The principle of integrated resource management involves farming of fish along with livestock and agricultural crops. This type of farming offers great efficiency in resource utilization, as waste or by-product from one system is effectively recycled. It also enables effective utilization of available farming space for maximizing production.
In Nigeria, Integrated fisheries resource management has been reported in many states of the federation in which 50% of fish farmers integrate, poultry, piggery or livestock with fish production, while integrated fish cum crop production is on the rise also in several states. According to FAO (2002) the essence of integrated management system is to increase the productivity of fish as to meet the challenges of food shortage and reducing the unemployment rate in Nigeria. Socio-economic conditions should be considered when developing integrated fisheries management systems.
The development of a diversified economy depends on the harmonious interactions between socio-economic conditions, agricultural productions and regional environmental conditions. In any part of the country, the type and level of integration depends on the prevalent environmental conditions, social norms, cultural values and religious factors. For example in the northern part of the country, fish cum pig integration is not advisable because of religions factors (Ajana, 2003). The agricultural enterprise to be combined and their level of intensity determine the type of integration. Fish culture can be extensive, semi-intensive or intensive. The semi-intensive earthen pond fish culture is the most suitable integrated aquaculture system because of the natural ecosystem that can conveniently accommodate both crop and livestock production. Apart from market forces, demands for agricultural products should be put into consideration before establishing any integrated resource management enterprise in any area (Csavas, 1992).
Employment in the primary capture fisheries and aquaculture production sectors in 1998 is estimated to be 300 million people worldwide while the number of people dependent on fisheries as an income was estimated at 200 million. Of these the vast majority cannot even afford to eat fish they catch and handle. Fishers are often demeaned and exploited by those who can afford to buy their crops, which leads to the disintegration of traditional communities and increasingly marginalized rural societies. Consequent upon this there was massive rural-urban drift leading to youth migrating to urban centres for “greener pasture” leaving the old people in the rural area. Unfortunately gainful employment is increasingly scarce in the cities. This has in no small way created social problems and in fact to the level of social unrest in Nigeria.
The integrated fisheries resource management system produces high yields with low input, with the fish receiving limited, if any, supplementary feed. In contrast, the livestock on the integrated farms, which includes chickens and pigs, is reared intensively, and antimicrobial agents are used as growth promoters and for prophylactic and therapeutic treatment. Within integrated fisheries resource management system, antimicrobials, their residues, and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria may enter the fish ponds through animal manure and/or excess feeding and are potential sources of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. In recent years, a number of studies on the impact of integrated fisheries resource management system on household nutrition have been conducted. The benefits of integrated fish farming result either from direct consumption of fish by the producing households or from gains in income resulting in the purchasing of other cheaper foods, which lead to improved household food consumption