Home Institution

Tufts University

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


The purpose of this study was to examine the microeconomy of fish in the city of Mwanza in the context of the formal and informal market place and how it operates on a daily, monthly, and annual basis. In particular, I examined the different roles of fishermen, formal vendors, and informal vendors within the harvest, movement, and sale of fish and their perspectives on their own contributions and those of others at each stage. Between November 7th and November 26th, data was collected through 102 nonrandom, opportunistic interviews with my sample population of fishermen, formal vendors, informal vendors and professors at the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute. These interviews were conducted at various landing beaches, regulated market areas, and unregulated market areas within the area of the city of Mwanza. From the initial 90 interviews I utilized descriptive statistical analysis to outline trends about perspectives on profitability of certain fish species, transportation methods and costs, storage techniques, and the evolution of price in the local market. Pursuing themes generated from these initial interviews, I interviewed 16 more vendors and professors and outlined five themes pertaining to the seasonality of the market, the clash between the formal and informal market, the influence of the external market, the increasing vulnerability of fishermen, and the clashing perspectives of fishermen and vendors. All these themes signify the overutilization of the lake and increasing pressures, stemming from both interior and exterior factors. In going forward the local and national government should work to ensure job and food security for fishermen and formal vendors, while providing legal avenues for informal vendors to integrate into the local market so as to solidify sustainability legislation. 2


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Community-Based Research | Family, Life Course, and Society | Place and Environment | Politics and Social Change | Rural Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations


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