Fisheries resource management in Malawi, has so far gone through three types of management systems which
can effectively be defined, if not more. In the pre-colonial era, fisheries resource management was under the control of
traditional leaders, which fall under the Community Based Natural Resource Management System. Thereafter, up to this
day, most fishery resources in Malawi are entirely controlled by the government, under the Centralised Fishery
Management System. Of late a number of Fisheries in Malawi, like those of lakes Malombe, Chiuta and Chilwa have
adopted the Fisheries Co-management approach. Fisheries co-management in Malawi was introduced in 1993. Experiences
so far gained indicate that sustainable fisheries resource co-management necessitates the acceptance and embeddedness of
the user group representative bodies within the fishing communities. Resource user representation and transparency in
decision making process are important in institutional development as these in turn impact on the legitimacy and
compliancy of the developed institutions. An understanding of the local organisational set-up and its dynamics is vital for
proper planning and implementation of the co-management approach. This paper gives experiences and lessons learnt from
co-management arrangements in lakes Malombe and Chiuta.
Donda, S. Journey to Sustainable Fisheries Management: Organizational and Institutional Limitations in Fisheries Co-management, the Case of Lakes Malombe and Chiuta in Malawi. In: Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.