The Rovuma and Lugenda Rivers are the two largest and main rivers feeding the Reserve. The Lugenda River, 340 km of which falls within the southern half of the Reserve, is regarded as the lifeblood of Niassa National Reserve. The Lugenda River is not only integral to supporting this extremely biodiversity region but it is the principal source of both nutrition and income for a number of local communities.
SGDRN commissioned a number of research studies that suggested that the Lugenda River was being significantly degraded due to over fishing. It was likely that if that issue was not addressed and an improved management framework for the River constructed, the Lugenda River fisheries could face collapse.
This was seen as an important aspect that needed serious addressing. Furthermore, SGDRN was focused on setting up a project to empower local people to drive the sustainable management of fisheries and other river-based resources in Niassa National Reserve. It was in this regard that a Fisheries Project was designed and started being implemented in 2010, and which counted with the support of Fauna and Flora International (FFI), who secured a grant from the EU, and has taken on the responsibility of continuing the Project and trying to make sure it delivers its objectives.