The growing attention being given to improving water productivity at the catchment level has given rise to increased interest in the contribution of aquatic ecosystems and in particular fisheries to reducing rural poverty and improving food security. There is growing recognition that these natural resources have an important role to play in pro-poor water management in many of the world's river basins, but that capacity to optimize these benefits is constrained by a lack of appropriate technologies and tools to do so. The present paper provides an overview of the current state of understanding of these issues and identifies a number of challenges to be addressed, namely the need to: (i) build wider understanding of the value of river fisheries; (ii) understand the water requirements for sustaining river fisheries; and (iii) develop governance arrangements that bring fisheries to the decision-making table. It concludes by distilling from recent reviews of river fisheries valuation, environmental flows, and governance, a set of specific directions that need to be taken in order to meet these challenges.

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