Ethnoichthyology of Fishing Communities in the Lower Valley of Ouémé in Benin, West Africa

  • Gildas Djidohokpin Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
  • Edmond Sossoukpè Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
  • Richard Adandé Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
  • Juste V. Voudounnou Aquaculture School of National University of Agriculture, Kétou, Republic of Benin.
  • Emile D. Fiogbé Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
  • Anne Haour Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
Keywords: Ethnobiology, Artisanal fisheries, Indigenous fishing knowledge, Tovè River, Ouémé River

Abstract

Ethno-ichthyological knowledge can improve fisheries management. This study covers interactions between ecological, morphological, and sociocultural aspects pertaining to the fish of the Tovè River, which is located in the largest fishing area in the Republic of Benin (Ouémé Valley), West Africa. In particular, data were collected on fishing methods and techniques, fishing equipment, and ichthyofauna by noting vernacular names followed by identification traits, taste and dietary value, medicinal use, and related knowledge of different species. Through data related to names given locally to fish, this paper highlights the manner in which physical or behavioral traits are coded in terminology. Most of these species have a high market value, either because they are considered to be delicacies and/or for their medicinal uses. The results suggest that ethno-ichthyological information can successfully be applied to improve fish conservation and fisheries management.

Author Biographies

Gildas Djidohokpin, Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

Gildas Djidohokpin works at the Laboratory of Research on Wetlands in the Department of Zoology and Faculty of Sciences and Technics at the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Edmond Sossoukpè, Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

Edmond Sossoukpè works at the Laboratory of Research on Wetlands in the Department of Zoology and Faculty of Sciences and Technics at the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Richard Adandé, Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

Richard Adandé works at the Laboratory of Research on Wetlands in the Department of Zoology and Faculty of Sciences and Technics at the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Juste V. Voudounnou , Aquaculture School of National University of Agriculture, Kétou, Republic of Benin.

Juste V. Voudounnou works in the Aquaculture School of National University of Agriculture.

Emile D. Fiogbé, Laboratory of Research on Wetlands, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Sciences and Technics, University of Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

Emile D. Fiogbé works at the Laboratory of Research on Wetlands in the Department of Zoology and Faculty of Sciences and Technics at the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Anne Haour, Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Anne Haour works in the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the University of East Anglia.

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Image of a fish, Synodontis schall, on blue background.
Published
2020-10-16
How to Cite
Djidohokpin, G., Sossoukpè, E., Adandé, R., Voudounnou , J. V., Fiogbé, E. D., & Haour, A. (2020). Ethnoichthyology of Fishing Communities in the Lower Valley of Ouémé in Benin, West Africa. Ethnobiology Letters, 11(1), 137-151. https://doi.org/10.14237/ebl.11.1.2020.1686
Section
Data, Methods & Taxonomies