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Practical challenges of fisheries co-management on large water bodies: Lessons from southern Lake Malawi Public Deposited

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  • Efficient management of small-scale fisheries resources demands adequate human and financial resources. This mainly relates to research and enforcement activities. Despite the resource constraint, the state has assumed the role of managing the fisheries resources. The emerging global trend, however, recommends cost recovery systems for sustainable fisheries management to achieve equity and efficiency. Additionally, devolution of fisheries management functions from central governments to local governments ensures transparency and accountability mechanisms that lead to sustainable utilization of the fisheries resources and legitimacy of the formulated policies and legislation. With the shift of management from centralized to co-management arrangements, Malawi's experience in managing fisheries resources has been mixed with some lakes especially the smaller water bodies registering success to recovery of certain declined fish stocks while others have not yet registered any. In most cases, it is difficult to implement long-term planned activities after phasing out of donor-funded projects due to lack of political will and human and financial capacity. To ensure sustained implementation of fisheries projects, the new Fisheries Conservation and Management Act of 1997 has provisions on district fees and fisheries fund. However, its establishment of a fisheries fund and mechanisms for district fees for implementation of district based fisheries activities remain a challenge. The recent by-law formulation for the southern Lake Malawi offers an opportunity for cost recovery schemes with the inclusion of district fees collection. However, without political support and adequate capacity at district assembly level, the programme may not succeed.
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  • Njaya, Friday. 2008. Practical challenges of fisheries co-management on large water bodies: Lessons from southern Lake Malawi. 5 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 22-25, 2008, Nha Trang, Vietnam: Achieving a Sustainable Future: Managing Aquaculture, Fishing, Trade and Development. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2008.
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  • US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Division, The Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada; Aquaculture CRSP and AquaFish CRSP; Minh Phu Seafood Corporation; Vietnam Datacommunication Company (VDC); Camau Frozen Seafood Processing Import Export Corporation (Camimex); Long Sinh Limited Company; Mai Linh Group and Nam Viet Corporation.
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