We examine the welfare implications of the Tanzanian ﬁsheries boom resulting from Lake Victoria Nile perch exports during 1993–2008. In the literature, there are two opposing views on the effect of ﬁsh trade: some argue that ﬁsh trade can act as an engine of growth, while others contend that trade in ﬁsh negatively affects food security, local economies and incomes of the poor.
We apply a micro level perspective using data from two years, the ﬁrst from a 1993 World Bank household survey and the second, our own study from 2008, both covering about 520 households in the two regions, Mwanza and Mara, by Lake Victoria. Our results indicate increasing average income and a reduction in the share of household expenditure on food, both of which are positive indicators of welfare. For the poorest part of the population, urban areas had a substantial reduction in the fraction below the basic needs level, while the change in the rural areas was insigniﬁcant. However, growth in both areas was modest and inequality seems to have increased during the period. We conclude that there is more support in our data for a positive than a negative effect of the ﬁsh boom on the well-being of those residing in Mwanza and Mara.
Files and links
Request a publication
Due to Copyright we cannot publish this article but you are very welcome to request a copy from the author. Please just fill in the information beneath.