Traditional Authority Makanjira of Salima has banned children from visiting Mbenje Island on Lake Malawi where over 500 fishers fish.
Speaking during this year’s Mbenje Island opening ceremony on Saturday at Chikombe Harbour, Makanjira said the ban will give children of school-going age space to concentrate on their studies.
He said allowing children to venture into fishing activities is killing their future.
The chief has since warned that he will give a life ban to fishers who will breach the new directive by allowing their children near the island.
Traditionally, the island annually closes for four months to allow fish to breed.
In his remarks, director of Fisheries Friday Njaya hailed the local leader for championing fish conservation in the country.
He said Makanjira’s passion for fisheries is a good example of leaders who believe in sustainability of natural resources.
“You are aware that as government, we close our lakes for about three months (November to January), but here they do it for four months (December to April). This is remarkable,” he said
He, therefore, promised continued support towards the Mbenje conservation team through provision of necessary technical expertise.
The island is also a no-go zone for women and it bars alcohol, fighting and sex; hence, attaining the nickname “the island of saints”. n