Contending Claims over Access to Fisheries: A Case Study of the Okavango Delta Panhandle, Botswana

Gagoitseope Mmopelwa, Barbara Ntombi Ngwenya, Donald Letsholo Kgathi


Fishing is one of the key livelihood activities in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Subsistence fishers, commercial fishers and tourist lodge operators derive material and non-material benefits from fishery. However open access fishing has resulted in intergroup conflicts. The objectives of the study were to describe the nature of the fishing conflict and to suggest feasible conflict management strategies. A questionnaire based survey conducted among subsistence fishers, commercial fishers in four villages and among tourist lodge operators in the Panhandle of the Okavango Delta found that fishing in common grounds was the main source of conflict between commercial and recreational fishing. The paper discusses options for managing the conflict to avoid undesired consequences on the fishery resources of the Okavango Delta.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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