Department of Fisheries in Mangochi has cautioned the fishing community in the district to observe the closed fishing season.
The district’s fisheries officer Neverson Msusa described the period as crucial as it allows fish to breed and in turn improves stocks in the lake.
“During this period, fishers are restricted from using dragging nets because they destroy small fish and fish eggs,” he said.
However, he said fishers can use other methods such as hooks and fishing baskets during the period.
“I also advise the fishing community such as fish traders, fish processors, fish transporters, fishers and others to invest their funds in other business activities to survive during the closed season,” said Msusa.
Goliath Kadammanja, Lake Malawi extension officer for traditional authorities Mponda and Nankumba said other than the fishing community, the onus was on traditional leaders to enforce adherence to the regulations.
He said last season the department faced challenges as some community members did not comply with regulations.
This year’s closed season for Lake Malawi runs from November 1 to March 31 2020. During this period, the Fisheries Department in conjunction with Marine Police patrol the lake to enforce adherence to the regulations.
Besides Lake Malawi, Fisheries Department has also closed for fishing Lake Malombe from October 1 to March 31, Lake Chilwa and Mpoto Lagoon from December 1 to February 28 and Mbenje Island from mid-December to mid-April.