The Chambo Research Project Workshop was held from 8 to 10 July 1992 at the Nkopola Lodge Conference Centre situated some 40 km south of the project headquarters at Monkey Bay. The programme of the meeting is given in section (b) and the list of participants in section (c).
The aim of the workshop was to provide a forum at which the recommendations for the management of the Chambo fisheries of Lakes Malawi and Malombe and the Upper Shire river, and the research findings that support these recommendations, could be discussed by interested parties before their presentation to the Department of Fisheries for formal consideration. In addition the Workshop provided an excellent opportunity for the consideration of these recommendations in the context of the necessary legal framework and the administrative actions that would be required to implement them. The discussions and participation were of a high order and the recommendations of the project were accepted as soundly-based and appropriate to the needs of the fishery and national development goals. In addition, the appropriateness of the recommendations in a countrywide context was considered. Detailed questions of harmonisation of the regulations throughout the country and technical and social questions of implementation are to be considered in detail by a working party from within the Department of Fisheries. This Working Party is to report to the Chief Fisheries Officer in September 1992.
Taking into account these deliberations, at the close of the Workshop, the requirements for change to the existing fisheries legislation was considered and the initial drafting of the appropriate legislation commenced with the assistance of the FAO legal officer and the cooperation of the legal expert from the Malawian Ministry of Justice.
1 Numbers of fishermen
Free access to the fisheries of Lakes Malawi, Malombe and the Upper Shire, currently a historical right of any Malawian, should cease and the numbers of fishermen (i.e. boat and gear owners) should in future be strictly limited by a system of licences. The number of licensed fishermen should correspond to the numbers now fishing, as recorded by the 1991 and 1992 Frame Surveys, but should be reduced through natural wastage until optimum levels are reached. It is recommended that the number of licences issued may be revised at the discretion of the Department of Fisheries as future management requirements may indicate.
Such licensing would incorporate the requirements for the control of effort through the limiting of gears (see 2 below). As a general principle this recommendation was considered appropriate for application to all fisheries throughout Malawi.
2 Gear use
The total numbers of gear units in use on Lakes Malawi, Malombe and the Upper Shire river should not be allowed to increase beyond the present levels. This recommendation is intended to stabilise fishing effort and should be considered with reference to the suggested changes in the specifications and types of gears presented below. Recommendations were made to permit nkacha seines to continue operating in Lake Malombe and for kambuzi seine operators to change to nkacha seines.
After discussions, it was proposed that requirements of this recommendation should be achieved by the introduction of a system of licensing of the individual fishermen to use particular gears, defined by type and quantity. These gears should be physically identifiable. In principle this recommendation was considered to be appropriate to all fisheries throughout Malawi.
3 Proscribed gears
The use of the fine-mesh kambuzi/chalira seine nets should be totally prohibited on Lakes Malawi, Malombe and the Upper Shire river. The nkacha seine net should be banned on Lake Malawi. All beach and open-water seines should be banned on the Upper Shire river.
4 Gear specifications
The minimum mesh size for gillnets and chambo seine nets should be fixed at 95mm stretched-mesh on Lakes Malawi, Malombe and the Upper Shire river. The minimum mesh size for nkacha seines should be fixed at 25mm. The maximum headline length of these should not exceed 150m. The nkacha seine should be classified as an open-water seine net in the current revision of the national fisheries legislation.
In principle this recommendation was considered to be appropriate to all fisheries throughout Malawi.
5 Closed seasons
For the artisanal sectors, the ban on fishing with chambo seines in Lakes Malawi and Malombe (November to December) and the nkacha seines on Lake Malombe (January to March) should be lifted and no closed seasons imposed.
The closed season for the Maldeco ringnetters will not be lifted until the effort expenditure of this sector is fully assessed in view of the forthcoming addition to their fishing fleet.
6 Future monitoring activities
It is considered a matter of high priority to monitor closely the status of the fisheries in Lakes Malawi, Malombe and the Upper Shire river. In particular the catch composition of the bottom trawlers and the chirimila fishery in Lake Malawi and the development of the nkacha fishery in Lake Malombe. The data collection and statistical sampling systems as revised by the project (MTF) and already accepted and implemented by the Department of Fisheries should form the basis for a continual monitoring of the fisheries. This monitoring should be supported by continuing biological investigations.
Actions taken as a result of this monitoring will also take into account the findings of investigations carried out on other fish resources in Lake Malawi. Information derived from these activities should be used as a basis for the flexible adjustment of the existing legislation.
Team Leader of Chambo Project
Representatives from various Ministries
Ladies and Gentlemen I wish to welcome you to-day to this Workshop. It is pleasing that other organisations such as Maldeco, Ministry of Justice, District Administration have been able to send representatives. Tradition has dictated that I say I few words before we start our discussions.
We are meeting to-day to review research results on the status of chambo stocks in the southern part of Lake Malawi, the Upper Shire and Lake Malombe. From the discussions it is hoped that recommendations which will promote a sustainable utilisation of chambo stocks will be formulated.
To begin with, I would like to point out that the fishing industry is important to this country as a source of employment in all fields of catching, processing and marketing of fish. For instance, it is estimated that about 30,000 people are directly employed in fishing and an additional 200,000 are engaged in fisheries related activities such as net making, boatbuilding, engine repairs and fishing gear trading.
Fish is an important source of animal protein. It has been estimated that fish provides for about 70% of animal protein in the diet of the nation. It is relatively cheap and easy to distribute to rural and remote areas.
Fish also plays an important role in the economics of rural populations. In Malawi, 90% of the 75,000 tonnes caught is landed by artisanal fishermen. Suppose 1 kg of fish sells at 50 tambala it means over 30 million Kwacha goes in the pockets of artisanal fishermen in rural areas. This is just a rough estimate, but as you know that fish fetches more than 50 tambala for a kilogram in many places, that implies more Kwacha in pockets of fishermen in the villages. This is in line with government policy which wishes that money should be in the hands of the ordinary people in the villages.
From the above, you will agree with me that fish is an important resource. Fish unlike other resources, such as minerals is renewable. With wise management the stocks can be held in perpetuity for generations to come. However this sustainability is dependent on rational exploitation of the stocks through appropriate research, legislation, regulations and the education and co-operation of the public.
Malawi is well known for its chambo. The demand for chambo is rising within and outside Malawi. Because of this demand, there is an increased fishing pressure on these stocks. Realising this problem, the government of Malawi sought assistance from UNDP/FAO to conduct research to determine the status of chambo stocks so as to come up with management options for the sustainable exploitation of the stocks. The research has been going on for three years now and the results will form the basis of our discussions. The Department places a lot of importance on the deliberations of this workshop. This is because the future of chambo stocks, the future of the fishery, will be affected by the outcome of our discussions. I therefore appeal to you all to take the discussions seriously, openly and constructively so that we come up with meaningful recommendations which will provide guidelines for the rational exploitation and utilisation of the chambo resource.
At this junction I wish to take this opportunity to thank UNDP and FAO for the technical and financial assistance they have provided to Malawi and particularly to the Chambo Research Project. I also wish to thank all organisations and ministries that have released their officials to come and take part in our discussions. Lastly but not least I wish to thank my colleagues from the Department of Fisheries, particularly those in research, for the commendable work they have done.
I wish you all good discussions.
“The Government's Fisheries Policy statement for the period 1987–1996, maintains, that its aim is “to maximize the safe sustainable yield from the fish stocks that can economically be exploited from the national waters, etc.”, and a little further again: “to monitor, and where appropriate control the exploitation of the fish fauna … on a continuing basis, directing and regulating production within safe sustainable yields …”
The project objectives, as stated in the signed project document, are directly derived from this policy statement and require the design and execution of a programme of research programme into the life histories of the chambo species and other important by-catch species with the aim of formulating a management strategy for the exploitation of the chambo fishery resources. A revision after the start of the project focussed the outputs and activities into the 5 areas necessary for formulating a viable management strategy. These were:
Soon after the start of the project, it was realised how complex these fisheries are and how little was known about their biological basis. Chambo taxonomy was not clear cut, and many commercially important species had not been described.
In the first TPR meeting between Government, UNDP and FAO in July 1989, a further strengthening of the project was requested and an expert post for a fish biologist was created. This eventually resulted in the recruitment of Dr. Turner. At this meeting the Department of Fisheries also successfully persuaded UNDP to make money available for the building of 3 staff houses, which subsequently was undertaken by the Ministry of Public Works. I am rather confident that these houses will be completed before the project ends in October this year.
Mr Mkoko, Chief Fishery Officer, has been the project's National Director since its inception, while Mr. Mapila and Mr. Ng'ombe have served as National project coordinators.
With the appointment of the first Malawian Fishery Research Officer to the project, Mr. Alimoso, and the arrivals of Mr. Seisay, fishery biologist and a little later Ms. Mdaihli, socio-economist, the research work got underway. When Mr. Alimoso left, he was replaced by Mr. Banda, who concentrated on chambo age-determination and recently on data collection. Other Malawian Fishery Officers, that became attached to the project for a time were Mr. Donda, economist and Mr. Hara, in fish marketing, and of course our TA's, most of whom were outposted in the field and on whom the project has been dependent for most of the data collection work.
We have also a PhD student, Mr. Mwanyama, who contributed in limnology and certain aspects of chambo biology.
A gear-based statistical data collection system was set up in the project area. In a recent meeting at the Department of Fisheries this system was adopted to become the official one in the country, and therefore gradually will replace the old boat-based system.
Intensive length-frequency and other biological data collection of the chambo species occurring in all artisanal and commercial gears was carried out for a complete year. Time constraints did not permit a longer-term collection. In this context I would like to thank Maldeco for generously providing chambo samples several times a month for this purpose.
In the Upper Shire river, - the link between Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe -, a chambo migration study was carried out for about a year and a half.
In the course of all this work it was found that the chambo stocks in Lake Malombe were collapsing and the Government was duly informed of this in early 1991.
Stock assessment was also carried out on the south-east arm chambo stocks as well as the stocks of other important commercial species, as far as these matters could be taken within the limited timeframe and manpower constraints of the project.
In the socio-economic and fish marketing fields several surveys were carried out, targeted at specific sectors of the fisherfolk communities in the project area. These were a baseline survey of the gear-owners, a study of the cost and earnings in the various fisheries, and a determination of the specific roles of crew-members, fisherwomen and fishtraders. It is fortunate that Malawians are great fish eaters. Therefore little fish is wasted and no species go un-utilised because of particular consumer preferences.
Finally we have been able to translate the biology-based stock-assessments and predictions into economic terms, such as the income and employment generated by each of the fisheries, as well as the income per participating fisherman. This is particularly relevant, when assessing the options for management.
Although I realise this probably is a complaint made in each project, we found time far too short. We achieved a lot and got a much clearer picture of how the fisheries interact with stocks, but we also know that still much is needed to be done. Whereas in marine fisheries one can often utilise findings from other areas where the same species occur, this obviously is not possible given the uniqueness of Malawi's fish fauna.
My complaint that time is too short, is not an idle one, as fisheries research needs to be done on a continuing basis to be really effective. A programme approach with a minimum duration, of say 10 – 15 years could provide such a basis, rather than the ad-hoc approach that tends to prevail, at least among UNDP/FAO projects.
The aim of this workshop is the presentation of the project's findings in the context of formulating a management strategy through the adoption of appropriate fishery regulations.
This strategy should then be implemented through an extension programme with the aim of soliciting the cooperation of the fishermen for their own benefit. Preparations for such a programme, fortunately have already started in a cooperative effort of the GTZ/MAGFAD project and the Department of Fisheries
Secondly a certain amount of enforcement may be required, although care should be taken not to interfere with the extension programme where voluntary adherence to fishery regulations is asked for from fishermen. Licensing would be an important activity under this heading. Support from the IDA/World Bank project is available.
But this is not enough. We need to continue monitoring these fisheries closely to assess the effectiveness of the fishery regulations and the degree of adherence to them. Depending on the findings, regulations may be fine-tuned or changed completely, if necessary. Further research should be part of this. e.g. some of the commercially most important kambuzi species have not even taxonomically been described. Little is known about their population structure and dynamics. Hopefully this will also be taken up soon.
Thank you very much.”
1 Opening of the workshop
1.1 Welcome of the guests and participants by the Director of the Fisheries Department and the Project's Chief Technical Advisor.
2 General session
2.1 Comparison of the aquatic environments of the SE Arm of Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe (N.C. Mwanyama).
2.2 The biology of Chambo and consideration of the other species important to the fishery (G.F. Turner).
2.3 Description of the fishing activities and a comparison of the fisheries of the SE Arm of Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe (Mhd. Seisay).
2.4 Data collection and the statistical assessment of the fisheries (M.C. Banda).
2.5 Growth and production characteristics of the Chambo (Mhd. Seisay).
2.6 Socio-economics of the fishing activities (M. Mdaihli).
2.7 Fish marketing and the role of women (M. Mdaihli).
3 Lake Malombe
3.1 Socio-economic aspects of the fishery on Lake Malombe (M.Mdaihli).
3.2 Species composition and stock assessment of the Kambuzi fishery and the implications for fisheries management (G.F. Turner).
3.3 Stock assessment of Chambo in Lake Malombe, and the implications for fisheries management (N.P. Van Zalinge).
3.4 Predictive model for the future development of the fisheries of Lake Malombe (N.P. van Zalinge & M. Mdaihli).
3.5 Discussion of a fisheries management strategy for Lake Malombe.
4 Upper Shire
4.1 Socio-economic aspects and the current status of the fisheries on the Upper Shire (G.F. Turner & M.Mdaihli).
4.2 Discussions of a fisheries management strategy for the Upper Shire.
5 Lake Malawi - South East Arm
5.1 The complex nature of the exploited populations and their fishery on Lake Malawi (G.F. Turner).
5.2 Stock assessment and the implications for the management of the fisheries in the south-east arm of Lake Malawi (N.P. van Zalinge).
5.3 Socio-economic status of the fisheries of the south-east arm of Lake Malawi (M. Mdaihli).
5.4 A bio-economic analysis of the semi-industrial and industrial (Maldeco) fisheries (G.F. Turner & M. Mdaihli).
5.5 Discussions of a fisheries management strategy for the South East Arm of Lake Malawi.
6 Concluding discussions and close of Workshop
6.1 Technical Working Group to draft a management plan for the fisheries of the south-east arm of Lake Malawi, the Upper Shire and Lake Malombe.
6.2 Adoption of the draft management plan.
6.3 Closure of the Workshop.
MINISTRY OF FORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
|Department of Fisheries|
|Mr B.J. Mkoko||Chief Fisheries Officer|
|Mr S. Mapila||Principal Fisheries Officer|
|Mr E.L. Ng'ombe||Principal Fisheries Officer|
|Mr D.D. Bandula||Senior Fisheries Officer|
|Mr M.B. Chiumia||Senior Fisheries Officer|
|Mr B.C. Banda||Senior Fisheries Officer|
|Mr M. Hara||Senior Fisheries Officer|
|Mr B.B.A. Rashidi||Senior Fisheries Officer|
|Mr E. Nsiku||Acting Senior Fisheries Officer|
|Mr D. Jumpha||Senior Fisheries Assistant|
|Mr S. Bland||Fisheries Economist|
|Mr G. Delince||Planner|
|Dr T. Tomason||Fisheries Advisor|
|Fisheries Research Unit - Monkey Bay|
|Mr D. Tweddle||Fisheries Research Officer|
|Mr R.D. Makwinja||Fisheries Research Officer|
|MINISTRY OF JUSTICE|
|Mr K.K. Nyirenda||Senior State Advocate|
|Mr W.W. Mapata||District Commissioner Mangochi|
|MALDECO FISHING COMPANY|
|Mr J.H. Magasa||Assistant Production Manager|
|Dr B.A. Costa-Pierce||Project Director|
|Mr E.K. Kaunda||M.Sc. Fellow|
|Dr A.B. Thompson||Project Officer|
|Dr J.G.M. Wilson||Fisheries Advisor|
|FAO CHAMBO RESEARCH PROJECT TEAM|
|Drs N.P. Van Zalinge||CTA/Fish stock assessment|
|Dr G.F. Turner||Fish biologist|
|Mr M.C. Banda||Fisheries biologist|
|Ms M. Mdaihli||Socio-economist|
|Mr M.B.D. Seisay||Fisheries biologist|
|Mr N.C. Mwanyama||Limnologist|
|Dr I.G. Dunn||Technical Secretary|
|Ms A. Van Houtte||Legal Officer|
STATISTICAL AND COMPUTING ASPECTS IN DEVELOPING STATISTICAL SYSTEMS IN MALAWI by C. Stamatopoulos. Field Document 1, July 1989.
PREPARATION OF A BASELINE SURVEY OF THE ARTISANAL FISHERIES ON LAKE MALAWI by B. Horemans. Field Document 2, February 1990.
STATISTICAL AND COMPUTING ASPECTS OF THE CHAMBO FISHERIES by R. Mahon. Field Document 3, June 1990.
A DATABASE FOR THE TRADITIONAL CHAMBO FISHERIES STATISTICAL SURVEY by R. Mahon., S. Alimoso, C. Stamatopoulos, and N.P. van Zalinge. Field Document 4, June 1990.
FRAME SURVEY OF THE SOUTH EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND LAKE MALOMBE by S.B. Alimoso, M.B.D. Seisay, N.P. van Zalinge, M. Mdaihli and S. Donda. Field Document 5, July 1990.
AN EFFICIENT METHOD FOR CATCH-EFFORT SAMPLING OF THE ARTISANAL CHAMBO FISHERIES OF THE SOUTH EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND LAKE MALOMBE by S.B. Alimoso, M.B.D. Seisay and N.P. van Zalinge. Field Document 6, March 1991.
MTF - MALAWI TRADITIONAL FISHERIES, COMPUTER USER MANUAL by C. Stamatopoulos. Field Document 7, March 1991.
ESTIMATION OF CONVERSION FACTORS FOR CONTAINERS USED IN TRADITIONAL FISHERIES FOR CHAMBO by M.B.D. Seisay and J. Phiri. Field Document 8, July 1991.
PRELIMINARY NOTE ON THE DECLINE OF THE CHAMBO CATCHES IN LAKE MALOMBE by N.P. van Zalinge, S.B. Alimoso, S.J. Donda, M. Mdaihli, M.B.D. Seisay and G.F. Turner. Field Document 9, March 1991.
FISH MARKETING IN THE MANGOCHI AREA OF MALAWI by D.S. Liao. Field Document 10, November 1990.
FISHERMAN-ENTREPRENEURS - A BASELINE SURVEY by M. Mdaihli and S. Donda. Field Document 11, July 1991.
THE ECONOMIC STATUS OF CREW MEMBERS by M. Mdaihli and S. Donda. Field Document 12, June 1991.
THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN CHAMBO FISHERIES by M. Mdaihli and S. Donda. Field Document 13, June 1991.
AN EVALUATION OF THE MALAWI CATCH ASSESSMENT SURVEY SYSTEM FOR TRADITIONAL FISHERIES by G.F. Turner, M.B.D. Seisay and N.P. van Zalinge. Field Document 14, March 1992.
VALIDITY CHECK IN CATCH EFFORT SAMPLING IN THE TRADITIONAL CHAMBO FISHERIES IN THE SOUTH-EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND LAKE MALOMBE by M.B.D. Seisay, H.J. Phiri and P.K. Mpezeni. Field Document 15, October 1991.
FISH MARKETING IN LAKE MALOMBE, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND THE SOUTH-EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI by M. Mdaihli, M.M. Hara and M.C. Banda. Field Document 16, March 1992.
PROFITABILITY OF FISHING IN LAKE MALOMBE, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND THE SOUTH-EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI by M. Mdaihli and S.J. Donda. Field Document 17, July 1992.
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CHAMBO STOCKS OF LAKES MALOMBE AND MALAWI AND THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER by M.B.D. Seisay, G.F. Turner and N.P. van Zalinge. Field Document 18, July 1992.
POPULATION DYNAMICS AND STOCK ESTIMATES OF CHAMBO (OREOCHROMIS SPP.) IN THE SOUTH-EAST ARM AND LAKE MALOMBE - LENGTH BASED APPROACH by M.B.D. Seisay, N.P. van Zalinge and G.F. Turner. Field Document 19, July 1992.
AGE AND GROWTH PARAMETERS OF CHAMBO (OREOCHROMIS SPP.) IN THE SOUTH-EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI, AS DETERMINED FROM OPERCULAR BONES by M.C. Banda. Field Document 20, July 1992.
DISTRIBUTION AND BIOLOGY OF CHAMBO (OREOCHROMIS SPP.) IN LAKES MALAWI AND MALOMBE by G.F. Turner and N.C. Mwanyama. Field Document 21, July 1992.
A BIO-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS FOR SOME OF THE INDUSTRIAL AND SEMI-INDUSTRIAL FISHERIES OF SOUTHERN LAKE MALAWI by G.F. Turner and M. Mdaihli. Field Document 22, July 1992.
MECHANIZED FISHERIES OF LAKE MALAWI by G.F. Turner. Field Document 23, July 1992.
PREDICTIVE MODEL FOR THE LAKE MALOMBE FISHERIES by N.P. van Zalinge, M. Mdaihli, G.F. Turner, and M.B.D. Seisay. Field Document 24, July 1992.
REPORT ON FISHERIES LEGISLATION IN MALAWI by A. van Houtte. Field Document 25, July 1992.
THE MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR THE COMMERCIAL FISHERIES OF LAKE MALOMBE, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND THE SOUTH-EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI by the Ad-Hoc committee established at the Chambo Fisheries Research Project's workshop on 11 July 1992. Field Document 26, October 1992.
FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE SOUTH-EAST ARM OF LAKE MALAWI, THE UPPER SHIRE RIVER AND LAKE MALOMBE, WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE FISHERIES ON CHAMBO (OREOCHROMIS SPP.). REPORT ON THE WORKSHOP HELD AT MANGOCHI, 8–11 JULY 1992. Technical Paper 1, August 1992.
IDENTIFICATION OF OREOCHROMIS SPECIES FROM LAKE MALAWI USING MITOCHONDRIAL DNA by D.M. Reid, R.N. Zaba and T.J. Pitcher, FAO, Rome 1990.