Mchinji acting district animal health and livestock development officer Potifala Chakana says his office is sensitising fish farmers to the fish disease outbreak in the district.
In an interview on Tueasday, the official said the Fisheries Department was also conducting awareness campaigns to people on the disease.
“Farmers are being advised to stop harvesting fish and also avoid using same fish nets from pond to pond as one way of curbing the spread of the disease,” he said.
In a separate interview, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security animal health deputy director Gilson Njunga said in collaboration with the Fish Department, they are conducting tests on the affected fish.
“The emerging fish disease outbreak in Mchinji is called Ulcerative Epizootic Syndrome and we have embarked on surveillance to validate extent of spread,” he said.
Njuga said this is the first time for Malawi to record such a pandemic as Zambia has been reporting it for the past years.
He has since expressed concern that the disease will affect the livelihoods of fish farmers in the district.
Fisheries Department national director Friday Njaya said he inspected one of the fish farming clubs in the district where members reported that they expect a loss in fish business.
“Last year, they made K4.5 million from fish sales,” he said.
Areas affected by the disease include Mlonyeni, Mkanda, Chiosya, Zulu, Kalulu, Mikundi and Msitu in the district.
Mchinji has more fish farmers in the Central Region.