These days, one of the global challenges is the growing demand for food. To be more specific, seafood bases play a key role in filling the nutritional requirements of human beings. In Africa (Ethiopia) the public expenses to improve productive capacity in aquatic food are increasing. Additionally, the expenses in dams and in fishers’ capacity building have increased households’ engagement in the fishery sector in Ethiopia. Cooperatives’ productive capacity has been strengthened by the government and other non-government organizations with the supply of fishing boats, refrigerators, fish nets and other office supplies. However, the effect of such public expenses in bringing changes in the households’ livelihood and welfare has never been assessed in this study area. This paper aims to investigate what motivates the households to fish and assess the effect of fisheries on the households’ livelihood and welfare. A structured survey consisting of 313 rural households was administered using trained enumerators in two kebeles located close to the Tekeze dam, Northern Ethiopia. The result indicates that socioeconomic characteristics, such as age (young), sex, education, and active family size were driving the households to fishing. Access to market and access to support are driving farmers to fisheries. There is a significant difference in fishing households’ income which is higher than non-fishing households. The results also indicate that there are lesser income inequalities among fishery households operating in cooperatives compared to private fishery households.
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