Confiscation and burning of illegal fishing nets from fishers unlawfully plying their trade in Lake Chilwa has been singled out as one of the effective ways to protect the remaining fish in the lake.
WorldFish Malawi research officer Asaph Chijere said this on Tuesday in Phalombe following the confiscation of 376 illegal fishing nets made from mosquito nets used at the lake’s Mpoto Lagoon in Traditional Authority (T/A) Chiwalo in the district.
He said due to the drying of the lake, WorldFish revived beach village committees and riverine village committees through traditional leaders and councillors by building their capacity on measures that need to be promoted for sustainable fishing practices.
Chijere said they trained communities on the dangers of destroying breeding grounds for fish and the effects of using tiny fishing nets which pose a threat to fish species in the lake.
“Upon realising the cited dangers, the communities went into the lake and confiscated the illegal fishing nets. The burning of the impounded nets is a symbol of zero tolerance to illegal fishing,” he said.
Chijere said confiscation and burning of the illegal fish nets will be done during open and closed fishing seasons to change the mindset of fishers used to illegal fishing.
WorldFish Malawi, through the Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme (LCBCCAP), is promoting sustainable fishing practices and good governance for communities in the district to manage their own resources. n