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Part I Statistics and main indicators

  1. Country brief
  2. General geographic and economic indicators
  3. FAO Fisheries statistics

The Profile (2019)

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    Part I Statistics and main indicators

    Part I of the Fishery and Aquaculture Country Profile is compiled using the most up-to-date information available from the FAO Country briefs and Statistics programmes at the time of publication. The Country Brief and the FAO Fisheries Statistics provided in Part I may, however, have been prepared at different times, which would explain any inconsistencies.

    Country briefPrepared: May 2019

    Malawi is a landlocked country with 20 percent of its area covered by water bodies. Lake Malawi is one of the world’s most important fresh water bodies, with some 700 to 1 000 fish species in a single lake.

    Fishing is mainly artisanal and small-scale with some large-scale fishing in the south of Lake Malawi. Annual capture production was about 199 500 tonnes in 2017 dominated by Cyprinidae, including “Usipa” (Engraulicypris sardella), and “Chambo” tilapias (Oreochromis spp) and other cichlids.

    Aquaculture production has grown from less than a thousand tonnes in 2005 to more than 12 200 tonnes in 2017, mainly with extensive pond culture, often integrated with agricultural activities on farmsteads. Three species of tilapia accounted for more than 95 percent of production.

    In 2017, fisheries and aquaculture provided direct employment to 154 143 inland fishers and 12 800 fish farmers (30% women). The reported number of undecked, unpowered canoes in 2017 as 16 142 with another 1 834 undecked powered boats. A trawl fleet composed by 25 vessels was reported in 2017 with most vessels between 24-29.9 m LOA.

    About 90 percent of the fish landed was smoked and dried to supply rural areas, making trade a major occupation among many fishing communities, including women. Annual per capita fish consumption was estimated at 9.3 kg in 2016. Fish provides about 30 percent of the animal protein intake and about 3 percent of the total protein intake in Malawi.

    In 2017, imports were estimated at USD 4.1 million and exports at USD 239 000. In 2006 Malawi developed a Master Plan for aquaculture to support both commercial and non-commercial fish farming.

    An Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy for National Fisheries Policy (2012 – 2017) has been developed by the Malawi Department of Fisheries.
    General geographic and economic indicators

    Key statistics

    Country area118 480km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Land area94 280km2FAOSTAT. Official data, 2013
    Inland water area24 200km2Computed. Calculated, 2013
    Population - Est. & Proj.20.013millionsFAOSTAT. Official data, 2019
    GDP (current US$)7 065millionsWorld Bank. 2018
    GDP per capita (current US$)389.4US$World Bank. 2018
    Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added26.1% of GDPWorld Bank. 2017

    Source: FAO Country Profile

    FAO Fisheries statistics

    Updated 2019The Profile

    This country profile provides statistics and indicators produced through FAO’s Statistics programmes, supplemented with information derived from national and other sources and valid at the time of compilation.

    Full text of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Country Profile available at /fishery/docs/DOCUMENT/fcp/en/FI_CP_MW.pdf

    Additional information

    Meetings & News archive


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