Mafaniso Hara

Associate Professor Mafaniso Hara, who hails from Malawi, joined PLAAS in 2000 and has more than 30 years’ experience working as a social scientist with a focus on rural fishing communities in inland and coastal contexts. His current research is on integrated resource management, development of socioeconomic indicators for small-scale fisheries, drivers of poverty in fishing communities and developing inland fisheries in southern and South Africa. His work has focused particularly on looking at social issues affecting fishing communities and coastal management. Since 2009, he has co-ordinated a five-country regional collaboration researching strategies for increasing national capacity in integrated commons management.

Associate Prof Hara emphasises that approaches to protecting valuable aquatic resources must also protect – or at the very least avoid exacerbating – vulnerable marginal livelihoods. His research has also looked at the nature and viability of livelihoods based on fishing and coastal activities. Linking to other PLAAS research on food security and food value chains, his work looks at how small-scale fishers can better integrate into agro-food value chains in South and southern Africa through formal and informal markets, and how this can help improve regional food security and the livelihoods of small-scale fishers.

He notes that climate change increasingly impacts on natural resource management and fish stocks, leading to changes in species available for fishing. Therefore, Associate Prof Hara also focuses his research on how local communities are coping with such impacts and how they might better be able to deal with them. His concern with managing inland and marine fisheries and coastal resources has recently expanded to include broader concerns with natural resource governance, and he has led a major regional project on cross-sectoral commons governance in southern Africa.

Works by this author

Food in the Time of Coronavirus: Why We Should Be Very, Very Afraid

Food Trade and Investment in South Africa: Improving Coherence Between Economic Policy, Nutrition and Food Security

Community Opportunities in Commercial Agriculture: Possibilities and Challenges

Trade and Investment in Fish and Fish Products Between South Africa and the Rest of SADC: Implications for Food and Nutrition Security

Trade, Food and Nutrition Security in South Africa: The Cases of Sugar and Poultry

Women's Participation in Fish Value Chains and Value Chain Governance in Malawi: A Case of Msaka (Lake Malawi) and Kachulu (Lake Chilwa)

Community Opportunities in Aquaculture: What are the Possibilities and Limits?

Backing Small-scale Fishers: Opportunities and Challenges in Transforming the Fish Sector

Mainstreaming of HIV and Aids into South African Fisheries Policy

Crew Members in South Africa's Squid Industry: Whether they have Benefitted from Transformation and Governance Reforms

Strategy for Fisheries Socio-economic Research

Socio-economic Contribution of South African Fisheries and their Current Legal, Policy and Management Frameworks

A Decade of Fisheries Co-Management in Africa: Going Back to the Roots? Empowering Fishing Communities? Or just an Illusion?

South African Fisheries Reform - Past, Present and Future?

Mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS into South African Fisheries Policy