Malawi sounds alarm on illegal fishing gear

Malawi Government says in 2012 there was a rise in the use of illegal fishing gears in some of Malawi’s water bodies.

Deputy director for the Department of Fisheries Steve Donda told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview, that a Frame Survey conducted by the department in 2012 revealed that some fishers were using Nkacha fishing nets which are not allowed in some of Malawi’s water bodies.

“The Nkacha nets have small mesh size which trap baby fishes and fish eggs along with the big fish,” said Donda.

He said there have been several reports of fishers using the Nkacha nets in Lake Malawi especially in Mangochi, Salima and Nkhotakota districts.

Bigger nets should be used, fishers urged
Bigger nets should be used, fishers urged

“The Nkacha net fishery are only allowed in Lake Malombe,” said Donda.

The Department of Fisheries recently concluded this year’s annual Frame Survey which run for two weeks from September 23 to October 3 2013.

According to Donda, the aim of the Frame Survey is to get a record of all fishing gears and numbers of fishers that give a reflection of fishing effort in a particular year.

“The results of the survey are used to generate a raising factor that is used in estimation of fish production in capture fisheries,” he said.

He said the estimation is done through sampling of fish catches throughout the year at selected beaches.

Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries is urging fishers to use bigger sized nets that are recommended in water bodies.

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