RIPPLE Africa Introduces Fish Conservation in Lake Malawi!
Date posted: 10 January 2013
After nearly a year of planning, RIPPLE Africa is pleased to announce the launch of our new Fish Conservation Project in Lake Malawi to address the problem of over-fishing and the dwindling fish population in Lake Malawi.
Using the success of RIPPLE’s forest conservation project as a model, the new programme takes a community-led approach to conservation. For many months, RIPPLE Africa has been working with the District Fisheries Department, the District Council, three Traditional Authorities, members of the community, and local fishermen. The first step was to work together to create local by-laws which will apply to a 40km area along Lake Malawi. The by-laws enforce a 4 month closed season from November and also specify restrictions on the length and minimum size of fishing nets used. Both are measures which will give smaller fish time to breed. The by-laws also introduce a local permit system which prohibits migratory fishermen from fishing in the area but favours smaller local fishermen, which creates a system of protectionism which local fishermen support. The by-laws were officially passed on 18 December 2012. With the new laws in place, RIPPLE Africa staff, the District Fisheries Department, and new Fish Conservation Committees comprised of both fishermen and non-fishermen from within the community will continue to monitor the lake-shore and ensure that the new by-laws are correctly enforced.
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