Nkhotakota District to Establish Fisheries Association
Plans are underway to establish Nkhotakota Fisheries Association which shall assist in activities such as conserving unique fish species and controlling overfishing on Lake Malawi and other water bodies.
Nkhotakota District Project Officer for the USAID-funded - Restoring Fisheries for Sustainable Livelihood in Lake Malawi – REFRESH – Project, Andrew Salapa, says use of fisheries associations has proven to be an effective measure in conserving fish, hence the arrangement.
He said in an interview with Zodiak Online that with the associations, it is easy to mobilize resources for relevant interventions at the community level.
“We don’t have fisheries associations. It is a problem for the fisheries department because most of the Local Fisheries Management Authorities – LFMAs – are failing to lobby for resources from the district council. The association shall help because it goes directly to the council to lobby for such resources,” he said.
Meanwhile, a number of sub-fisheries associations operating in the district, have been commended for producing tangible results, in various interventions.
For instance, Nkhanga Sub Fisheries Association, in the area of Sub Traditional Authority Nkhanga, has become a role model in conserving unique fish species in Chia Lagoon.
The Sub FA manages a fish sanctuary in the lagoon apart from conducting patrols to control overfishing.
Nkhanga Area Development Committee Chairperson Sadik M’bwana says this has been achieved through proper coordination among community leaders.
“We work with Village Development Committees - VDCs - and traditional leaders. I personally join teams that conduct patrols on Chia Lagoon,” he said.
The achievements have inspired similar groups from Senior Chiefs Kanyenda and Malengachanzi in the same district, who visited.
They recently visited Nkhanga area on a learning tour.
In an interview, Kanyenda ADC Chairperson Macpasswell Mzumala, supported the idea to establish a district fisheries association.
“With the association, there will be proper coordination among all players in the fisheries sector,” he said.