FAO calls for fisheries policy

The fishing sector still plays a major role in country's economy
The fishing sector still plays a major role in country’s economy

Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has called for speedy implementation of the revised Fisheries Policy of Malawi by developing management plans for fisheries and aquaculture.

FAO assistant representative, Samuel Chingondole, made the remarks in Mangochi on Monday at the start of a three-day workshop on the implementation of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Aquaculture (Eafa) in Malawi.

“There is an urgent need to implement the recently produced Fisheries Policy of Malawi by developing management plans for fisheries and aquaculture,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Department of Fisheries, the key policy areas in the revised Fisheries Policy capture Fisheries, Aquaculture, Fish Quality Control and Post Harvest, Governance, Social Development and Decent Employment, Research and Information, and Capacity Development.

Chingondole observed that Malawi needed to make efforts to support fisheries and aquaculture and its sustainable development, saying this plays a great role to food and nutrition, providing essential elements for adequate child development and healthy lives.

“FAO is undertaking work to assist member countries understand the advantages of using these approaches to improve the management of fisheries and aquaculture and their contribution to food security and social development.

“These threats are a result of high population growth, increasing levels of poverty, environmental degradation and high fish demand. The Eafa can be an effective tool in addressing these concerns,” he said.

In Malawi, the fisheries sector contributes approximately four percent to Gross Domestic Product and is a significant source of jobs, directly employing about 60 000 fishermen and indirectly about 350 000 people who are involved in fish processing, fish marketing, net making, boat building and engine repair.

Recent statistics from the Department of fisheries show that there was 109 136 tonnes of fish in Lake Malawi as of 2012, 70 percent of which constituted usipa.

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