Mphatheni Mthembu

Mphatheni Mthembu

Mphatheni Mthembu

MSc student

Evaluation of the wellbeing of the fish community of the Mfolozi, Hluhluwe and Mkuze Rivers in KZN.

The communities of Maputaland are dependent on the availability and quality of numerous ecosystem services including in particular fish as a provisioning service. These communities have a legacy of subsistence fisheries which is threatened by natural and anthropogenic stressors. For the sustainable management of the socio-ecologically important fishery of Maputaland, an understanding of the ecological requirements, threats and current wellbeing of these fisheries is required.

This study aims to evaluate the current wellbeing of the freshwater fisheries of the rivers of northern KwaZulu-Natal, their socio-ecological value, threats to the sustainability of these fisheries and provide management recommendations for the rivers. To achieve this a year of seasonal fish community wellbeing surveys will be carried out in the Mfolozi, Hluhluwe and Mkuze Rivers in Maputaland. This information will be used to inform a risk assessment incorporating the established Relative Risk Model of threats the fisheries and the wellbeing of human communities in the study. This information will provide stakeholders of the fisheries of the region with the information to manage water resource use and mitigate the synergistic effects of droughts to the fisheries in the region.

In addition, I’m also involved in the River Eco-status Monitoring Programme (REMP) of KwaZulu Natal.

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