This paper presents key lessons from development of a transboundary fisheries co-management (TFC) on Lake Chiuta, shared between Malawi and Mozambique. Since the mid-1990s when fisheries co-management was introduced on the Malawian side of the lake, there had been conflicts between fishing communities from both countries. The conflicts mainly centred on management system and fishing rules. Fishing co-management was introduced on the Malawian side in 1995 which led to formation of Beach Village Committees (BVCs) to represent interests of the fishing community while traditional leaders advanced fishing rules on the Mozambican side. The Malawian BVCs banned use of seines to sustain the fishery while the Mozambican traditional leaders allowed seine fishers. To address the conflicts a TFC arrangement was proposed by fisheries authorities from both sides in 2003. This study shows that the TFC has gone through two phases including field-based coordination and collaboration (Phase I); and signing formal agreement between or among the respective governments to establish a transboundary fisheries co-management (Phase II). Apparently, by going through both phases, conflicts have now been addressed since 2014 when Memorandum Understanding (MoU) on Fisheries Management and Aquaculture Development was officially signed by both governments in October 2014. Key lessons can be drawn from the process of establishing the TFC including use of traditional knowledge; sharing of common culture, values and traditions; policy on community participation; and willingness of parties to negotiate at community level. Effective and sustainable TFC models for small-scale fisheries should always be community-driven.