Nkhata-Bay Fisheries Office appeals to fishermen to adopt aquaculture


Authorities at Nkhata-bay Fisheries department which is under the Ministry of Natural Resources have called upon fishermen to embrace fish farming as one way of curbing overfishing which is highly contributing to the dwindling population of various fish species in Lake Malawi.

The development transpired on Thursday, 23rd February, 2023, following an interview with officers at Nkhata-Bay district Fisheries Office under capture fisheries affairs who lamented over current decreasing numbers of fish catches, attributing the setback to the use of unauthorized gears and technological advancements that are fuelling rampant excessive capturing of fish in the lake.  

Expressing her concern over the matter, Nkhata-Bay Fisheries Extension officer Joy Ng’ambi said there has been a decline in the quantity of fish being currently captured in Lake Malawi which stands at 32 thousand metric tonnes annually, as compared to five years ago where they used to have 55 thousand Metric tonnes of fish which is a worrisome situation.   

Ng’ambi: We need to work in conjunction with Fishermen.

“We used to have very good catches in the past years and a lot of fishermen including women were able to catch enough fish from the lake, but now things are different as the fish have migrated to the deepest parts of the lake where people fail to reach and other species are coming to an extinction. This is emanating from the use of unauthorised equipment by some culprits which is frustrating our efforts to protect the fish and ensure its sustainability,” lamented Ngámbi.

She continued sharing her sentiments on the matter by emphasizing on the need for fishermen to change their mind set towards their overdependence on fish from the lake and encouraged them to consider venturing into aquaculture and other businesses as an alternative for fending for their livelihood and socio-economic sustainability, thereby allowing fish to replenish on the other.

“I am appealing to all fishermen here in Nkhata- Bay to be responsible towards the lake because it belongs to them. They have to develop an attitude of complying with the rules and regulations as enforced by our department so that it keeps serving them for generations. They shouldn’t be solely depending on the lake as the source of fish, this has to change.”   

Taking his turn, Inspectorate Fisheries officer for Nkhata-Bay Emanuel Yaganda Banda who is responsible for the enforcement of laws and authorization of fishing licenses in the department expressed worry over mobility hiccups and lack of other essential working materials which makes it hard for them to achieve smooth operation of duties.

Banda said: “We need a vehicle and motorbikes that can allow us to be commuting from one place to another across the district even to the hardest to reach destinations as we get to inspect various fishing areas along the lake and we also don’t have a vessel that can be assisting us to sail on the waters during the patrolling operations which makes our job difficult.”

“For any job to be done well, there is need to have all the necessities handy to ensure a smooth coordination of activities. It is our plea to the government that they assist us on the matter, I am sure we could be operating without some challenges like the ones we are facing now, provided we get access to these resources, our task could likely be simplified,” he further explained.

Meanwhile, Nkhata-Bay fisheries Office has pleaded with people in the district to work in collaboration with the department in order to sustain fish in Lake Malawi. 

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