Box 5.1:     Effect of community-based management


     Box 5.1: 

Effect of Community Based Management on the enforcement of fisheries regulation in Lake Malombe fisheries.
The old strategy of fisheries management in Lake Malombe was based on enforcement of fisheries regulations regarding gear type design, closed season and minimum takeable sizes of fish. However, due to lack of funds and personnel the Department of Fisheries failed to enforce the regulation. As a result, fishermen continued to use under-meshed gear that exceeded the permitted 100m and furthermore:
  • Nobody respected the closed season;
  • Chambo of less than 152.5 mm (the minimum takeable size) occurred in almost every catch of small meshed nets.
In 1994, the Malawi-German Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Project (MAGFAD) introduced a community based fisheries management strategy, emphasizing a participatory approach. There are 30 Beach Village committees which act as intermediaries between the fishing community and Fisheries Department to enforce:
  • a minimum mesh of ¾ inch for kambuzi and nkacha seine
  • a minimum mesh of 3 inch for chambo seines and gill nets
  • a maximum headline length of 250 metres for nkacha, 500 metres for kambuzi and 1000 metres for chambo nets
  • recommendations of the closed season
  • limited access to fishery
The project is -accompanied by the weekly radio programme ‘Usodzi wa lero’ (Today’s Fishing)
By 1995, more than 95% of the fishermen were respecting the closed season and more than 90% had changed their gear type of kambuzi and nkacha nets to ¾ inch.
  Source: Scholz (1996)


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