Authorities confiscate Chambo in Nkhotakota Market for ‘illegal’ fishing

The Department of Fisheries on Tuesday confiscated over 58 kilograms of Oreochromis species of fish commonly known as Kasawala or baby Chambo from Nkhotakota Market, saying the fishermen caught the fish illegally.

The confiscated baby Chambo
Confiscated Kasawala

District Fisheries Officer (DFO,) Rodgers Makwinja confirmed that his office confiscated illegal Kasawala from the market following a patrol conducted by the fisheries enforcement section.

He said Chambo also known as maternal mouth brooding cichlids, a subgenus Nyasalapia of the genius Oreochromis species is experiencing a serious threat of extinction from Lake Malawi due to illegal fishing such as catching fish before they mature.

“Chambo fish is also at the verge of extinction due to massive destruction of breeding and nursery sites. Not only that, but water quality degradation due to heavy siltation caused by poor cultivation methods which is experienced in the upland is also causing a serious threat to Chambo’s life in Lake Malawi,” said the DFO.

Makwinja said that it was pity to note that Chambo which contributed 70 percent of the total catch from the lake is now at less than five percent.

“Statistics show that in 1970 Chambo contributed 70 percent of the total landings. But the catches have currently reduced to less than five percent,” he said.

He however, said the department of fisheries has partnered with Ripple Africa to control the poor fish farming practices thereby regulating the bleeding and flow of fish in the country.

“Following this negative trend, Nkhotakota is implementing a fish conservation project with Ripple Africa with the aim of protecting baby Chambo hence restoring the health biodiversity of the species,” he said.

Makwinja explained that the confiscated fish was later on donated to Nkhotakota District Hospital.

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4 years ago

So are they going to eat the fish?

4 years ago

The Staff of Department of Fisheries who went on rampage confiscating the already fished chambo`s are barbarians. What is important is to reinforce tough laws at the lake and not outside the lake. Mkwimitsani maamulo kunyanjako by conducting heavy patrols on the lake so that no fishermen go into the lake within a specified time frame. It worked well during Kamuzu Banda. Fishermen knew that the stated time frame is fish breeding and not fishing.

Force Ngwira
4 years ago

In 1970 Malawians were less than 7million today we are almost 18 million nsomba zisathe? Mwawalakwira kageni Kochepa komweko mukuwalandanso. Vomelezani kuswana ngati mbila si dHilu

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