Recognising Individual Potential and Promoting Local Education in Africa (Ripple) has introduced fishing by-laws in Nkhata Bay designed to curb overfishing and conserve fish species in Lake Malawi.
The project is being funded by a United Kingdom registered charity whose focus is to work towards the improvement of local education, healthcare, and the environment in Malawi.
The by-laws are under the organisations’ fish conservation project, which aims to protect stocks in Nkhata Bay by making communities along the lake shore know problems and solutions concerning fish stocks.
Ripple Africa environmental programme manager Force Ngwira said in an interview at the weekend that the by-laws will help provide simple, effective and uniform rules for all fishers in the district.
“These [the by-laws] will be managed by the fish conservation committees with the backing of the Fisheries Department and the district council,” he said.
Ngwira described the by-laws as a bridge between the national laws under the country’s Constitution and community norms and values.
He expressed hope that the enforcement of the by-laws will help manage the fish resources sustainably in the district which he said is the core objective of its fish conservation project.
Ngwira said under the project, Ripple Africa has facilitated the formation of fish conservation committees comprising both fishers and non-fishers to empower them to manage all aspects of fishing in their areas and ensure the future of fish stocks.