27. The FAO Secretariat presented an overview document on the management and development of Lake Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa. The main management problems and issues were elaborated. It was stressed that the Consultation should consider the following management tools and needs:
sufficient financial and manpower resources;
well ranked research priorities and adequate consultation between researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders;
major problems of disadvantaged artisanal fishermen;
socio-economic factors affecting lake-wide fisheries
more equitable supply of fish products for local markets and whenever possible for export;
adequate research extension liaison and communication of research results to fishermen;
exchange of information between various fishery institutions and stakeholders; and
means for motivating scientists and managers working in various fishery disciplines.
Policy instruments for fisheries development and management
28. An examination of existing legislation showed that Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania have laws, which permit the following interventions:
licensing of fishing vessels;
licensing of fishermen and fish dealers;
control of exports and imports of fish and fish products;
controlling the introduction of exotic species;
prohibition of destructive fishing methods;
establishment of closed areas and seasons; and
regulating and prohibiting destructive fishing gears and methods.
The legal framework for controlling the fisheries
29. It was pointed out that the planning of fisheries development and management should be governed by a policy framework that comprises the following:
all the laws, institutional arrangements, regulations and procedures governing the management and use of fishery resources; and
governmental activities that affect fisheries indirectly.
30. The delegates were informed that the sustainable management of fisheries of Lake Malawi/Niassa/Nyasa should include restrictions on the following: fishing season; mesh size limits; closed areas; and restrictions and limitation on entry (number of fishing canoes and gears as well as fishers).
31. It was reported that in formulating recommendations, the Consultation, should focus on the following approaches:
understanding that the fishery resources of the lake basin are transboundary in character that are influenced by activities at local, national and wider regional levels;
emphasizing a trans-sectoral approach where fisheries is only one of the elements to be considered in the planning process; and
realizing that any plans and derived strategies must involve all stakeholders and that this is a cornerstone for human resources development (HRD) in the lake basin.
Possible research topics for consideration by riparian States
32. The document drew the attention of Governments to the following aspects:
the importance of the fishery resources;
the ecological functions of wetlands;
the socio-economic data and applied research;
the institutional issues; and
the need for interaction of researchers with managers and stakeholders.
Suggested actions for the Technical Consultation
33. The Technical Consultation was requested to deliberate on the development and management issues and constraints raised and propose necessary actions and recommendations by the riparian States to improve sustainable management of the entire lake.