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Stakeholders challenged to join hands in ending illegal fishing

DEDZA-(MaraviPost)-Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza district has reiterated the need for concerted efforts between law enforcement agencies and community structures in addressing challenges that are leading to depletion of fish species in the country’s water bodies.

She made the remarks on Wednesday on the sidelines of a consultation meeting which a project dubbed Restoring Fisheries for sustainable Livelihoods in Lake Malawi (REFRESH) being implemented by Pact Malawi organised with Beach Village Committees in the area.

Fish farmers

The Senior Chief observed that the use of illegal fishing gear remains a challenge in the lakeshore part of the district hence the need for the committees to partner with law enforcement agencies in dealing with the vice.

“The use of mosquito nets is a common practice here and the fish species in our water body is at the verge of depletion due to the malpractice. I suggest the need for concerted efforts between the police and committees to end the problem,” said Kachindamoto.

Speaking whilst concurring with the Senior Chief, councilor for Ntakataka ward Gift Balaka blamed fishermen from other districts are fueling the vice as their respective districts have formulated bylaws restraining the act.

Balaka has since called on Non Governmental Organizations in the Fisheries sector to intensify awareness to fishermen on the impact of using mosquito nets when plying their trade.

“Other lakeshore districts have formulated bylaws which have banned fishermen from using illegal gears. We need players in the Fisheries sector to swiftly move in with awareness messages because in the long run, the same fishermen come to Dedza to deplete our fish,” said Balaka.

Commenting on the matter, Dedza District Fisheries Officer Ida Kandiuze acknowledged that the use of illegal fishing gear remains a challenge in the district.

Kandiuze was however quick to call for collaborative working relationship between the government, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOS) and other relevant stakeholders in containing the situation.

She observed that women and youth inclusion in restoring fish species is key in ending challenges that the sector is registering.

Restoring Fisheries for sustainable Livelihoods in Lake Malawi (REFRESH) project technician Catherine Kamanga reaffirms commitment to finding lasting solutions to some of the challenges that the Fisheries sector is facing.

Kamanga added that the organization expects operationalisation of bylaws aimed at protecting fish species from fishermen who use illegal fishing gear.

Restoring Fisheries for sustainable Livelihoods in Lake Malawi (REFRESH) is a USAID funded project which aims at restoring the natural fisheries productivity in the lakeshore districts of Karonga, Rumphi, Likoma, NkhataBay, Nkhotakota, Salima, Dedza and Mangochi.

On the day, the organization supported Kachindamoto Sub-Fisheries Association to conduct its quarterly meeting to share the best experiences and discuss how they can assist Beach Village Committees to operationalize the six fishing policy.

Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporterhttps://www.maravipost.com/
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.
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