GNF - E-Learning Tool Land Use and Fishery

Land Use and Fishery - E-Learning Tool

in the Frame of the Project "Learning for Lakes"


During the course of history it can be seen that people have for millennia settled next to water, beside rivers and lakes. Fish found in the rivers and lakes serve partly as food and partly as a commodity and raw material, being one of the basic units for local trade and food industry. Fishing is one of the most ancient professions of mankind, occurring world over wherever water and fish exist.


Over the course of the centuries however conditions have changed and fishing activity has also undergone significant transformation. Fishing organisations have appeared which not only deal with fishing but also with fish propagation, care of the young fish and their introduction into new waters on so-called fish farms. Fishing represents a significant branch of the food industry; its processed products are not only sold locally but also further afield.


Agriculture has been present for centuries as another characteristic branch of the economy alongside rivers and lakes. Agricultural activities are carried out wherever the geographical environment allows to suit local conditions. The permanently present water enables irrigation in dryer periods, thus enabling a constant production every year.


During the past century industrial development accelerated and intensive agriculture and fishing gained ground. In order to increase production efficiency various chemicals were applied (herbicides, pesticides, artificial fertilisers, etc.) this had a detrimental effect on the soil, on the surface waters, and the first level waters. The quality of the water has deteriorated, inducing various processes, which have a negative effect on the ecosystems of the lakes. In the field of fishing the problem has been that the introduction of foreign fish species for financial reasons without adequate consideration has lead to the demise of native species and the overpopulation of foreign species. Changes to the shores of the lakes and their surroundings have resulted in the reduction or total disappearance of the reed beds, causing the disappearance of the spawning and breeding places for the native species, which would have provided the natural supply of these fish. The intensive use of the areas (overgrazing) leading to erosion and also the over fishing are also problems.


Similar problems have been identified in several other countries also where they are trying to develop strategies giving preference to natural organic farming sustainable in the long term. This is of course not a process without hitches, since the economy demands profit so here a basic change in attitudes are required.


In the following you will find some case studies demonstrating some solutions to cases which occurred in the five countries participating in the Learning for Lakes Leonardo da Vinci program.