The study was conducted to assess the fishery, challenges and opportunities in Denbi reservoir, Ethiopia. Interview, focus group discussion and personal observations were used to generate data. Response was solicited from households within the catchment area of the reservoir, key informants, elders, workers of the reservoir and fishery cooperative members. The data was analyzed by combining quantitative, qualitative methods and descriptive statistics. The result showed that there was one legally registered fishery cooperative organization. Majority (81.8%) of the cooperatives members organized were men with age ranging from 18 to 35 years. It was observed that there was division of labor among men and women cooperative members where men generally did capturing and women were involved in washing mesh, processing, transporting and selling of fish. Fishing in the reservoir was carried out each other day using non-motorized single boats. The post harvest activities undertaken by the fishermen included gutting and removal of offal from fish. The demand for the fish was neither affected by season nor religious affiliation due to the low supply of fish in the study area. Lack of fishing gear and motorized boat were the top two ranked constraints. Fish production and fishery system of Denbi reservoir was characterized by low inputs and low production resulting in an underutilization of the water resource. There should be emphasis on integrated management for effective utilization of the resources.
Key words: Constraints, Denbi reservoir, fish, fishing practices, opportunities.
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