NationalNews

CITIZENS COMMEND BIOMASS TRAWL SURVEY EMBARKED ON LAKE MALAWI

By Lekereni Chinkhota

As part of ensuring that fish biodiversity is being conserved and sustained in Malawi’s water bodies, Monkey Bay Capture Fisheries Centre under the Department of Fisheries embarked on Biomass trawl survey to establish the diversity, sizes and species of fish that are available in Lake Malawi.

Speaking in Salima on Friday during the biomass trawl survey, Principal Fisheries Officer, Salimu M’balaka said that the survey is important because they will be able to influence policy and decision makers on sustainable ways of capturing and conserving fish.

He said: “This survey is important because it will determine the amount of fish species, water quality and identify species that are still available, new or missing.”

He added: “We will recommend the number of boats to be allowed to fish in a particular area based on the amount of fish available with the up to date information that we will generate after this survey. We will also know the physical and chemical characteristics of the lake and its environmental DNA.”

Former Malawi Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe who attended the survey, commended the biomass surveys that the department of fisheries is conducting.

“The biomass surveys are critical and the department of fisheries are being consistent in conducting the surveys tri-annually.” He said.

He recommended that the Fisheries Conservation and Management Act should be reviewed to account for emerging issues such as increased artisanal fishing, commercial fishing and effects of climate change.

Chairperson for Salima Fisheries Association, Rabson Chipangula hailed the survey saying his committee has learnt a lot.

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