Fishing for Food? Analyzing links between fishing livelihoods and food security around Lake Victoria, Kenya

Food Secur. 2014 Dec;6(6):851-860. doi: 10.1007/s12571-014-0393-x. Epub 2014 Oct 15.


Food-producing livelihoods have the potential to improve food security and nutrition through direct consumption or indirectly through income. To better understand these pathways, we examined if fishing households ate more fish and had higher food security than non-fishing households around Lake Victoria, Kenya. In 2010, we randomly sampled 111 households containing 583 individuals for a cross-sectional household survey in a rural fishing community. We modeled the associations between fish consumption and food security and fishing household status, as well as socio-economic variables (asset index, monthly income, household size) for all households and also for a subset of households with adult male household members (76% of households). Participating in fishing as a livelihood was not associated with household fish consumption or food security. Higher household fish consumption was associated with higher household income and food security, and was weakly associated with lower household morbidity. Household food security was associated with higher incomes and asset index scores. Our results suggest socioeconomic factors may be more important than participation in food-producing livelihoods for predicting household consumption of high quality foods.

Keywords: Animal Source Foods; Fish; Food Insecurity; Lake Victoria; Livelihoods; Nile Perch; Socio-ecologic Systems.