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Agriculture Ministry to hold national fisheries forum

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has said it will from November 22 hold the 2017 National Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum at Sun and Sand Holiday Resort in Mangochi.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, signed by Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Grey Nyandule Phiri, the forum which will run from Wednesday to Friday will provide an opportunity for exchange of experiences and challenges among the participants.

Some of the participants to the forum include researchers, fish famers, fishermen, non – state actors and policy makers against the background of the rolling out of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy of 2016.

“The forum will also provide updates on the finalised, ongoing and planned fisheries and aquaculture programmes as well as sharing research findings on fisheries and aquaculture with specific issues on climate change, biodiversity conservation, governance, fish trade and genetic improvement,” he said.

“Additionally, it will also facilitate greater research collaboration across disciplines, sub –sector initiatives and research partners and develop synergy between science and policy in fisheries and aquaculture,” Phiri added in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Ministry indicated that Malawi’s fish production from capture fisheries has risen from 50,382 metric tonnes in 2004 to 116,315 metric tonnes in 2015.

“The most dominant catches are Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) and Utaka (Copadichromis species). Similarly, aquaculture production has also increased from 800 metric tonnes in 2004 to 7,000 metric tonnes in 2016,” said the statement.

The ministry has, however, bemoaned open access to fish resources that contribute to overfishing, weak capacity to enforce fishing laws and high post – harvest losses as some of the negative factors hindering growth of the fisheries sector.

“Further to that, stress of fresh water ecosystems due to growing population and climatic changes, low quality feed, uncertified fingerling producers and limited hatcheries for aquaculture as well as low private sector participation continue to affect the sector,” Nyandule Phiri noted.

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