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Multi-sectoral approach vital in fisheries management”

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As one way of managing and restoring fish in the lake, Restoring Fisheries for Sustainable Livelihoods in Lake Malawi (REFRESH) program has appointed individuals from different sectors to champion fisheries management.

Speaking on Monday during an orientation of the Fisheries champions consisting of Chiefs, religious leaders, police and media from Salima district. District Head of Fisheries Inspectorate Jametone Katombera described the development as a holistic approach of tackling challenges faced in the fisheries sector.

He said they lack manpower in terms of experienced individuals who can be assisting in advocating, lobbying and sensitizing communities on ways of voicing out messages on fisheries.

“The champions will fill in the gaps that have been there and we expect them to be reaching out to duty bearers using their different platforms and we will collaborate with them to effectively execute their duties,” he said.

Katombera expressed optimism about the new initiative especially the fact that the champions have been drawn from different backgrounds with diverse skills set.

Deputy Chief of Party for the REFRESH program Amakhosi Jere said they want to contextualize scientific findings on how to sustainably manage fish by involving influential people in the communities such as the chiefs and religious leaders to make a bigger impact.

Jere: Everyone has to be on board

He said the champions will be supported by equipping them with knowledge and skills so that they should be abreast with emerging data in the fisheries sector.

“The champions are expected to work with the Department of Fisheries in a decentralized manner because we know that these individuals already have an idea of what is happening in the fisheries sector therefore what we are trying to do is to sharpen their skills,” he said.

Jere gave an example of Senior Chief Makanjira who has been appointed as one of the champions as an individual who has already made strides in the fisheries sector by employing indigenous methods of preserving and restoring fish in his area.

On his part, Senior Chief Makanjira said the responsibility bestowed upon him as a champion is another platform for him to continue fostering development in the fisheries sector and implementing by-laws that promote fish restoration during the closing season.

 REFRESH project is funded by USAID Implemented by Pact Malawi and commenced its work in 2019 and it is phasing out in September 2024.

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