Linkages between Fisheries, Poverty and Growth: Malawi Case Study
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Linkages between Fisheries, Poverty and Growth: Malawi Case Study

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A report prepared for the
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Project: ‘The Role of Fisheries in Poverty Alleviation
and Growth: Past, Present and Future’

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  • 1. APPENDIX H Malawi Case Study
  • 2. Linkages between Fisheries, Poverty and Growth Case study of Malawi A report prepared for the Department for International Development (DFID) Project: ‘The Role of Fisheries in Poverty Alleviation and Growth: Past, Present and Future’ DFID/PASS Contract: AG0213
  • 3. CONTENTS PAGE 1. BACKGROUND 1 2. POVERTY 6 3. ECONOMIC GROWTH 10 4. FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT 12 5. POLICY MAKING 25 REFERENCES 30
  • 4. 1. BACKGROUND 1.1 History, structure and nature of government and national politics Politically, Malawi became an independent state in 1964 from the British ruled federation of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi). Malawi became a republic and a one-party state, with Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda as its first President in 1966. Dr Banda later became Life President of Malawi in 1971 (Europa, 1993). Malawi then became a democratic multi-party state in 1994, with Bakili Muluzi as the first democratic state President. Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika was elected as second democratic state President of Malawi in 2004. The head of State is the democratically elected President, whose term of office is five years. The executive power is vested in the President and the legislative power in the National Assembly. Malawi’s economy is agro-based. 1.2 National Policy priorities Malawi’s development policy expresses the need for reduction of poverty, ignorance and disease by the achievement of rapid and sustained economic growth, an improvement in income distribution and a reduction in the instability of welfare for both the individual and the nation. The policy recognises that if the welfare of Malawi is to be further increased economic growth will have to exceed population growth. The performance of agriculture will be critical, and other natural resources, will where viable, need to be exploited. In recognition of this, several national policies have been developed and implemented. These include Malawi’s Vision 2020, Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP) and National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD). To achieve meaningful poverty reduction and learn lessons from past experience, the Government of Malawi decided to develop the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP). The Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy (MPRS), which was launched in April 2002, is the overarching strategy that now forms the basis for all developmental activities by all stakeholders, including Government. The MPRS is the product of a highly consultative process involving a broad range of stakeholders and represents a consensus about how Malawi can develop and achieve its core objective of poverty reduction. The overall goal of the MPRS is to achieve “sustainable poverty reduction through empowerment of the poor”. Rather than regarding the poor as helpless victims of poverty in need of hand-outs and passive recipients of trickle-down growth, the MPRS sees them as active participants in economic development (GoM 2002). The MPRS also emphasises prioritisation and action. The MPRS is built around four pillars. These pillars are the main strategic components grouping the various activities and policies into a coherent framework for poverty reduction. The first pillar promotes rapid sustainable pro-poor economic H-1
  • 5. growth and structural transformation. The second pillar enhances human capital development. The third pillar improves the quality of life of the most vulnerable, and the fourth pillar promotes good governance. The MPRS also mainstreams key cross cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS, gender, environment, and science and technology (GoM 2002). After the launch of the MPRSP in April 2002, however, many stakeholders, including the private sector, observed that policies to fulfil this strategic objective were insufficient to achieve a sustained annual economic growth of at least 6 per cent required to reduce poverty by half by the year 2015, primarily because the strategies did not encompass all sectors of the economy. To close this gap, therefore, Cabinet directed that the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) should coordinate the formulation of the Malawi Economic Growth Strategy (MEGS) in 2004. The main objective of the MEGS is to generate high and sustainable broad-based economic growth of at least 6 per cent per annum over the long-term (GoM 2004). It aims at achieving high economic growth through the stimulation of trade and investment and the restoration of macroeconomic stability. The approach is to stimulate economic growth through promotion of trade1 and investment. The Malawi Economic Growth Strategy has been developed through a consultative process involving both the public and private sectors. The Strategy also highlights the main constraints on economic growth, trade and investment and identifies corrective measures. It is argued that the MEGS has been based on a realistic assessment of the resources available. It focuses on strategies and actions that do not require substantial additional spending by Government and instead can be achieved through refocusing of existing resources and by developing a more conducive set of policies that will stimulate private sector investment and trade in the immediate future. However, in the medium term, donor organisations will have a key role to play in creating a conducive environment for economic growth by supporting policy reforms and providing resources to support government during the transitional period. 1.2.1 Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPS) Malawi has implemented a series of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) to address structural weaknesses and adjust the economy to attain sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The major areas of focus of the SAPs included the liberalisation of the agricultural sector, parastatal sector reform, privatisation, trade liberalisation, financial sector reform, exchange rate liberalisation, interest rate liberalisation; and the rationalisation of the Budget. Nonetheless, the adjustment programmes have had limited impact on economic growth and poverty reduction. Between 1981 and 1994, Malawi implemented several structural adjustment programmes supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB). From 1995 to date, Malawi has implemented three Fiscal Restructuring 1 Trade refers to export-oriented and import-substitution trade. H-2
  • 6. and Deregulation Programmes (FRDP) supported by the World Bank. Malawi has also been through a series of Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facilities (ESAF) supported by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In parallel to the introduction of the PRSP approach internationally, the IMF adopted Poverty Reduction and Growth Facilities (PRGF) as its main instrument in Malawi (GoM 2002). Given that Malawi is an agro-based economy, many of the reforms were focussed on the agricultural sector. The first key reform was price decontrol, which was aimed at allowing market forces to drive resource allocation in production. Secondly, market liberalisation was intended to foster competition and ensure that smallholder farmers get good input and producer prices. In particular, the repeal of the Special Crops Act in 1995 lifted restrictions on smallholder production of burley tobacco and allowed smallholder farmers to generate more income. In the financial sector, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and Banking Acts were reviewed in 1998/99 to allow, among other things, easy entry of new banking institutions into the financial sector and to give the Reserve Bank greater independence in the formulation of monetary policy. The revision of the Acts also strengthened the RBM' powers to supervise the banking industry. The liberalisation s of the financial sector also meant that monetary policy had to shift from direct to indirect instruments of monetary policy (GoM 2002). Major industry and trade reforms were implemented in 1988 through the Industrial and Trade Policy Adjustment Programme. The programme eliminated quantitative restrictions and rationalised trade taxes. The foreign exchange market was also liberalised to ensure efficiency in foreign exchange allocation. Locally produced goods were exempted from surtax in 1992 as a way of offering protection to local producers. The rationalisation of trade taxes ensured that only import duties were used as instruments of protection, while domestic taxes emphasised taxing consumption rather than production. To promote Public Sector Management the Government also undertook civil service reform. The Civil Service Reform programme included a census of civil servants and the retrenchment of 20,000 temporary employees. In addition, strategic and functional reviews of Ministries formed the basis for rationalisation of Government through contracting out certain functions and removal of operational overlaps. The impact of the wide ranging policy reforms implemented during the adjustment period has been mixed and mostly unsatisfactory insofar as poverty reduction is concerned. Although there have been periods of macroeconomic stability, sustainable growth has proved elusive. The instability has to a large extent arisen from external shocks, inconsistent implementation of reforms, fiscal policy slippages and the narrow base of production capacity. The inability to sustain high rates of growth over a long period has undermined any poverty reducing impact of growth. Furthermore, macroeconomic instability has aggravated the poverty situation. H-3
  • 7. 1.3 Demographic trends Malawi is a landlocked country with a total area of 118,484 km2, of which about 20% (24, 405 km2) is covered by water (see figure 1, map of Malawi and major water bodies). According to the 1998 population census, Malawi had a total population of 9,934,000 people, with an annual population growth rate of 1.98% for the period 1987 – 1998 (NSO 2002). For the period prior to 1998 census, the population growth rate was estimated at 3.2% per annum. This indicates that the population growth rate has decreased. From 1980 to 2000, the population of Malawi grew from some 6.2 million to slightly more than 10 million. Malawi has an average population density of 105 persons per square kilometre of land area (that is lake area excluded). The percentage of people living in urban areas increased from 10.7% during the 1987 population census to 14.0% during the 1998 census. Calculations based on the 1998 census indicate that about 10% of the country’s population live along the cost of lakes Malawi, Malombe, Chilwa and Chiuta. 1.4 Economic structure Malawi’s economy is predominantly rural and agricultural based. Its economic performance is largely dependent on weather conditions and on an international commodity prices. At the time of Independence in 1964, Malawi adopted an agro-based development strategy due to the low potential of mineral resources and the small size of the domestic market (GoM 1993). To date, the Malawi economy still remains agro- based, with the agriculture sector accounting for over 38.6% of GDP (GoM 2004). Agricultural production accounts for about 90% of the Malawi’s exports (NSO, 1994). Between 1974 and 1984 Malawi’s economy enjoyed vigorous economic growth. Gross Domestic Product in real terms increased at an average rate of 6% per year. This resulted in an annual average growth rate of per capita income of 3%. However, from the late 1970s, the Malawi economy started experiencing a series of external shocks including deteriorating terms of trade, steep rise in the price of fuel following the oil crises and external transport problems. Consequently, growth in GDP fell in the early 1980s (from 3.3% in 1979 to 0.4% in 1980). Since then economic growth has not been stable and has fluctuated quite a lot, with a GDP annual growth rate of 3.5% in 1999, 0.2% in 2000, -4.1% in 2001 and 1.8% in 2002. Figure 1: Map of Malawi showing major water bodies H-4
  • 8. L. Malawi • Mangoch i Lake Chiuta The extended family is the chief production unit and the main source of social support. The village is organised under customary law with authority vested in a traditional village headman or chief helped by village elders. Malawi’s villages are grouped under group village headmen, sub-chiefs, and traditional chiefs. The traditional authority plays a central role and its support is critical to any poverty alleviation efforts at the grass-roots level. 1.5 Development status H-5
  • 9. From independence (1964) through to 1979, the Malawi economy registered impressive growth. Real output growth, mainly spurred by the agricultural sector, averaged 6.7 percent during this period. However, the benefits of this growth were poorly distributed, as growth was narrowly based on estate agriculture. Starting from 1979, Malawi suffered from a series of exogenous shocks, including high import costs due to oil price shocks, disruptions in trade routes, the influx of refugees from Mozambique and droughts that disrupted the pattern of growth. In addition, policy weaknesses and slippages exacerbated the effect of these external shocks. As a result of these internal and external factors, real GDP growth fluctuated between 1979 and 1987, recovering to a high of 6.8 percent in 1984 following droughts in previous years. The agricultural sector continued to be the main source of growth and domestic saving. Following another round of SAPs, Malawi started to experience relatively buoyant economic growth between 1988 and 1991. Real GDP growth rose from 3.3 percent in 1988 to 7.8 percent in 1991. However, the gains arising from this growth were short-lived as growth fluctuated through the 1990s, largely as a result of external shocks such as droughts and the reduction of donor financial support between 1992 and 1994. For example, the economy recorded growth rates of -7.9 percent in 1992 and -11.6 percent in 1994, before recovering with a growth rate of 14.5 percent in 1996. Growth has averaged 2.6 percent between 1997 and 2000 and was at 1.8 percent in 2001. This poor economic growth performance implied that the majority of the population experienced no change in their economic status. The situation was more serious among the poor whose household consumption even in times of relative growth had stagnated. Thus economic performance during the adjustment period from 1981 to date had minimal impact on poverty reduction. 2. POVERTY 2.1 Poverty definition Poverty in Malawi is widespread, deep and severe. Poverty, in general, Malawians characterise it as “…as a state of continuous deprivation or a lack of the basics of life.” 2 In this analysis, poverty is taken as a condition characterised by serious deprivation of basic needs in terms of food, water, health, shelter, education; and lack of means and opportunities to fulfil these basic need. The poor, in this case, are defined as those whose consumption of basic needs (both food and non-food) is below the minimum level estimated at MK 10.473 per day in 1998. Within this number of the poor, 28.2 percent of the total population are living in dire poverty. In 2 Government of Malawi and United Nations Development Programme (1993) Situation Analysis of Poverty in Malawi 3 Average Exchange Rate in 1998 was MK31.1 = 1 US Dollar. H-6
  • 10. general, the poor have low levels of access to or acquisition of certain basic social services or capabilities. Poverty in Malawi, therefore, has many dimensions including income poverty and human or capability poverty. Poverty exists, and is observable, at various levels: at the individual, household, community and national levels, and has a gender dimension. The level of inequality is well illustrated by the fact that in 1997/98, the richest 20% of the population consumed 46.3% while the poorest 20% consumed only 6.3% of total reported consumption of goods and services. In urban areas, the richest 20% consumed 58.4% while the poorest 20% consumed only 4.5%. Consumption was also more unequally distributed within urban areas where the Gini coefficient was 0.52 as opposed to 0.37 in rural areas (see Table 1 below). Table1: Indices of Inequality in Consumption Gini Consumption of Group as Percentage Coefficient of Total Consumption of Population Poorest 20% Wealthiest 20% National 0.40 6.3 46.8 Rural 0.37 6.7 44.3 Urban 0.52 4.5 58.4 Source: Government of Malawi (2000) Profile of Poverty in Malawi: Poverty Analysis of the Integrated Household Survey 2.1.1 Demographic characteristics of the poor In terms of household composition, poor households in Malawi are considerably larger than non-poor households, with larger proportions of females and dependents. On average, poor households have 1.5 more persons than non-poor households. The same pattern of household size is maintained in both rural and urban areas. In terms of heads of households, studies have shown that just under 25% of households in Malawi are female headed and that such households are disproportionately poor GoM 2000). It was also reported that 27.4% of all poor households are headed by women. Fewer households in urban areas are headed by women as compared to those in rural areas. 2.2 Causes of poverty Poverty in Malawi is caused by a number of factors. Many of these factors are constraints on the economic productivity of land, labour, capital, and technology. Constraints on the productivity of land include rapid environmental degradation and limited or inadequate access to land. Constraints on labour include generally low levels of education, poor health status including HIV/AIDS, lack of or limited off- farm employment, rapid population growth, and gender inequalities. The key constraint on capital is lack of access to credit. All of these factors causing poverty are exacerbated by generally weak institutional capacity within the country. H-7
  • 11. The Conceptual Framework of Poverty analysis in Malawi is hinged on four main elements as low agricultural production, low non-farm income, low education and poor health. Two additional elements impact on the each of the four elements above, and these are rapid population growth, and weak institutional structure. The framework is merely a simple schematic presentation of a complex issue that was developed by GoM and UN (GoM/UN 1993) to guide in the inquiry on poverty. The framework is presented as figure 2 below. Population growth will exert strong pressures on land and natural resources, resulting into changes in patterns and levels of agricultural productivity. Population pressure will also impact on labour market, employment situation and productivity. Institutional structure and systems reflect the political and social organisation in Malawi, and play a key role in decision making process both at policy level and in the allocation of resources. These institutions formally organised as Central Government, Local Government, and Traditional Authorities permeate at all levels of society. Their pivotal role determines policies and programmes that affect all levels of the population. All these institutions have been hampered by a centralised approach which has been unable to delegate adequate authority and resources to the local level. A number of studies on poverty in general have been carried out in Malawi. The first one was carried out in 1993 by the Government of Malawi and the United Nations, where a report titled “ Situation Analysis of Poverty in Malawi” was produced. Following this was an Integrated Household Survey (IHS) that was carried out in 1997 and 1998 with a view of understanding the conditions under which Malawians were living. Two reports were produced from that survey, titled “Profile of Poverty in Malawi, 1998 – Poverty Analysis of the Malawi Integrated Household Survey, 1997-98”, and “A Relative Profile of Poverty in Malawi, 1998 – A quintile-based poverty analysis of the Malawi Integrated Household Survey, 1997-98”. This study (IHS) was a follow-up to the adoption of the Poverty Alleviation Programmes by government in 1994 and the institution of the Poverty Monitoring System to provide information on poverty and poverty trends in Malawi. Sector specific, like fisheries, has had no studies that looked at poverty per se. H-8
  • 12. Figure 2 Conceptual Framework of Poverty in Malawi Low Agricultural Production Low Income Low Education Poor Health Limited Land Low Climatic Malnutrition Disease Productivity Factors Unequal Poor Low Inadequate Limited Insufficient Inadequate Material Insufficient Health Distribution Quality Technology Inputs Extension Household Food and Child Care Services and Unhealthy Security Living Environment Limited Credit Rapid Population Growth Unequal Distribution Limited development Limited Employment Low Enforcement Poor Quality of Income of Small & Micro Opportunities Enterprises Market Low Inadequate Limited Limited Lack of Limited Inadequate Inappropriate Pricing Wages Transport Financial Vocational School Fees Facilities Resources Curricula Support Training Weak Institutional Inadequate Domestic and other Social and Cultural Factors External Resources Structures H-9 Copied from: Situation Analysis of Poverty in Malawi (GoM/UN 1993)
  • 13. 3. ECONOMIC GROWTH 3.1 Economic base The Malawi economy remains agro-based. The agriculture sector accounts for over 38.6% of GDP, employs about 84.5% of the labour force, and accounts for 82.5% of foreign exchange earnings. Agriculture is characterised by a dual structure consisting of commercial estates that grow cash crops and a large smallholder sub-sector engaged in mixed subsistence farming. Maize, the staple food, accounts for 80% of cultivated land in the smallholder sub-sector. The main agricultural export crop is tobacco, followed by tea, sugar and coffee. The manufacturing sector is small at 11% of GDP and declining. Manufacturing comprises mainly agro-processing activities, including of tobacco, tea and sugar. Distribution and services represented about 22% each over the 1998-2002 period. The fishing sector was estimated to contribute about 4% to the GDP. In the medium-term (2004–2008), economic growth is estimated to continue be driven by the agriculture sector. With increased investment in infrastructure, improved credit and marketing, agricultural production is expected to increase substantially. This, in turn, is expected to stimulate economic activity in the manufacturing, transport and distribution sectors. Therefore, the structure of the economy in terms of sectoral shares to GDP is projected to remain the same in the medium term. Overall growth for the agriculture sector is estimated at 7.8 per cent per annum over the entire period. Tables 2 and 3 show the selected macroeconomic indicators between 1995 and 2004 and changes in GDP between 1999 and 2002 respectively. Table 2: Selected Macroeconomic Indicators, 1995- 2004 (Annual percentage changes, unless otherwise stated) Indicator Average 1995-2001 2002 2003 2004 GDP at 1994 factor cost 4.4 1.8 4.4 4.9 Real Exports of Goods and Non-factor 5.5 -0.9 1.4 9.2 Services Real Imports of Goods and Non-factor 3.5 28.3 -0.6 -0.9 Services Real Gross Fixed Capital Formation -3.2 -19.7 0.7 4.1 Gross Savings as Share of GDP* 13.7 10.1 9.1 8.6 of which: 2.9 -7.1 -6.6 -4.7 Domestic Savings as Share of GDP National Savings as Share of GDP** 7.6 -2.6 -2.6 -1.6 Foreign Savings as Share of GDP 6.1 12.7 11.6 10.3 Gross Investment as Share of GDP 13.7 10.1 9.1 8.6 Inflation 37.4 14.8 10.0 8.0 H-10
  • 14. Table 3: Changes in GDP between 1999 and 2002 1999 2000 2001 2002 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor 13,091 13,117 12,582 12,808 cost (MK ‘million) GDP at current market prices (MK ‘million) 79,818 103,425 123,075 147,581 GDP per capita (MK) 8,220 10,380 15,006 12,900 GDP annual growth rate (%) 3.5 0.2 -4.1 1.8 Source: National Statistical Office (NSO), Zomba 3.2 The Fisheries Sector The fisheries sector plays a key role in poverty reduction through the provision of rural employment and, more importantly, through its contribution to household food security. The sector provides employment opportunities to over 350,000 people directly and has a multiplier effect of about 1:5. Fish provides a major source of protein supply, estimated at approximately 70% of animal protein and 40% of the total protein intake for the majority of the rural poor. Fish also provides essential minerals and vitamins, is available throughout the year, is accessible to the vast majority of the people, is available in times of drought and remains largely within the purchasing power of the majority of the population. 3.3 Fishing sector definition The fisheries sector in Malawi is sub-divided into two, capture fisheries and aquaculture sub-sectors. The capture fisheries sector being the major sector. Malawi has five major water bodies important for fish production. The annual catch from Malawi’s major fisheries is in the region of 40 to 80 thousand tons. In 2003, Malawi produced an estimated total catch of 48,200 tonnes. Lake Malawi is the largest and most significant water body. The fish catch from Lake Malawi contributed over 75 percent to the total annual catch from Malawi waters in 2003. The other water bodies being: Lake Chilwa (about 750km2), Lake Malombe (about 390km2), Lake Chiuta (about 200km2), and two sections of the Shire River (upper and lower). In terms of fish production in 2003, Lake Chilwa contributed about 14% to the total catch, Lake Malombe about 1.2%, Lake Chiuta about 2.4%, Upper Shire River less than 1% , and the Lower Shire River about 4.2%. All these water bodies are of high local importance socio-economically. The fisheries are multi-species and multi-gear, involving a number of exploitation techniques to harvest numerous species. They are categorically divided into two, the artisanal or traditional fisheries and the small-scale commercial fisheries. On average, the artisanal fisheries contribute about 85 – 90% of the total fish landings and the small-scale commercial fisheries contribute about 10 – 15% of the total fish landings. 3.3.1 The artisanal fisheries Artisanal fisheries are open access, highly complex, scattered in all water bodies and mainly operate between 0-20m in Lake Malawi while in other water bodies all depth ranges are covered. The artisanal fisheries comprises of a wide range of fishing units, ranging from traditional fishing gears and crafts, such as fish traps and handlines H-11
  • 15. operated from dugout canoes to relatively modern gears and craft, like the seine nets operated from planked boats powered by outboard motors, and employ a lot of people. The main target fish species for the artisanal fisheries, depending on the fishing gear, are chambo (Oreochromis species), Kambuzi (Haplochromis species), Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella), Utaka (Copadichromis species), Kampango (Bargrus meridionalis) and Mlamba (Clariid gariepinus). The main fishing gears are gillnets, chambo beach seine nets, kambuzi beach seine nets, nkacha seine nets, chilimira seine nets, longlines, handlines and fish traps. Nkacha and chilimira seine nets are open water seines The 2003 frame survey results indicated that there were 15,542 gear owners and 42,312 crew members that fished with 15,316 fishing craft. Of the fishing craft, 493 were planked boats operated with engines, 2,999 were planked boats operated without engines, and 11,824 were canoes. A summary of the survey results are given in annex 1. 3.2.2 The small scale commercial fisheries The small scale commercial fisheries are mechanised, capital intensive and use mainly trawling and purse seining (‘ring net’) and are confined in the southern part of Lake Malawi. The fishery consists of pair trawlers units (wooden boats about 8m long with a 20-40 hp inboard engine), stern trawler (90-385 hp) units and ring nets (90 hp) which are confined to the southern part of the lake. Thirty-seven commercial fishing vessels have been recommended for this fishery, but the number of operating fishing vessels have fluctuated between 10 to 25 in the last decade. Thirteen trawlers, eight stern and five pair trawlers are currently operational. The pair trawlers fish in waters between 18m and 50m deep and the stern trawlers are restricted in deep waters greater than 50m. All the stern trawlers except one are bottom trawlers. One stern trawler operate a midwater trawl. In addition to the small-scale commercial fisheries is the aquarium trade that is based on the exploitation and exportation of highly coloured territorial cichlids locally known as mbuna. The ornamental fishing operations are confined to two licensees only and fish in rock areas of not more that 100m deep. 4. FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT 4.1 Principal fish resources The Lake Malawi fisheries is a multi-species fisheries with distinct fisheries named after fish species or gears. Chambo4 (Oreochromis spp) is one of the main six commercially important fish species that are commonly fished in lakes Malawi and Malombe, and the chambo fishery is named after the fish. The fishery is made up of three main Oreochromis species namely Oreochromis karongae, Oreochromis lidole, and Oreochromis squamipinnis. Research records indicate that the chambo fishery of Lake Malawi has existed for over forty years, even before the start of keeping catch statistics in Malawi. The fishing gears involved in the fishery have ranged from the pair trawlers, through ring nets to less sophisticated gears like beach seines, gill nets 4 Chambo is a local name for the Oreochromis species H-12
  • 16. and fish traps. Although the fishery experiences such a wide range of gears, much of chambo catch comes from gillnets (about 51%). The other commercially important fish species include Kambuzi (Haplochromis species), Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella), Utaka (Copadichromis species), Kampango (Bargrus meridionalis) and Mlamba (Clariid gariepinus). The haplochromines dominate the beach seine net catches, whereas, Engraulicypris sardella and Copadichromis species dominate the open water seine net catches. Kampango (Bargrus meridionalis) and Mlamba (Clariid gariepinus) are either caught by gillnets or longlines. 4.2 Historical trends of landed catches and their values The annual fish catches have varied widely between 40,000 and 80,000mt, with landings in most years between 50,000 and 60,000mt. Lakes Malawi, Malombe, Chilwa, Chiuta, and two sections of the Shire River (upper and lower) form the basis of Malawi’s fish production. Lake Malawi is the largest and most significant water body in terms of fish production. Most of the catch (85 - 90%) is landed by artisanal fishermen. The size and range of small-scale fishing fleet has declined as government boat building facilities were withdrawn in an attempt to encourage the emergence of private sector support enterprises, and the level of technology applied to the fisheries has fallen visibly over the past two decades. Table 4 shows the estimated annual fish landings for all water bodies in Malawi between 1978 and 2002) Table 4: Estimated annual fish landings for all waters bodies in Malawi (1978 – 2002) Year L. Malawi L. Malawi L. Malawi Lake Lake Lake Lower and TOTAL Artisanal Commercial Total Malombe Chilwa Chiuta Middle (tons) (tons) (tons) (tons) (tons) (tons) Shire (tons) (tons) 1978 26,400 7,200 33,600 6,100 17,800 1,700 8,600 67,800 1979 15,300 7,100 22,400 3,600 25,800 1,600 6,400 59,800 1980 23,000 7,200 30,200 6,500 19,400 800 3,900 60,800 1981 17,700 7,600 25,300 8,500 8,600 900 4,000 47,300 1982 17,800 6,400 24,200 12,100 15,500 1,400 5,200 58,400 1983 23,400 7,800 31,200 9,700 16,800 1,100 6,100 64,900 1984 25,000 7,600 32,600 11,300 14,600 2,000 4,900 65,400 1985 21,000 8,000 29,000 8,600 15,200 1,700 7,600 62,100 1986 29,200 7,200 36,400 13,400 13,800 800 9,200 73,600 1987 41,800 8,200 50,000 13,000 8,400 3,300 7,100 81,800 1988 40,400 6,700 47,100 11,500 7,400 2,000 8,200 76,200 1989 33,800 4,900 38,700 6,200 12,600 1,300 10,300 69,100 1990 31,600 6,200 37,800 12,200 20,300 2,400 7,500 80,200 1991 30,000 5,700 35,700 9,625 7,400 1,700 9,000 63,425 1992 35,500 4,900 40,400 7,600 10,459 2,687 3,000 64,146 1993 38,200 3,569 41,769 5,811 10,810 3,532 2,900 64,822 1994 29,461 4,775 34,236 4,134 10,186 3,350 2,011 53,917 H-13
  • 17. 1995 21,470 5,211 26,681 2,653 1,328 1,159 2,074 33,895 1996 36,716 2,988 39,704 3,573 - 4,035 2,173 49,485 1997 25,154 3,662 28,816 2,790 4,510 2,733 1,586 40,435 1998 28,381 1,370 29,751 4,789 4,973 3,250 1,756 44,519 1999 29,051 3,674 32,725 3,717 4,742 1,519 2,146 44,849 2000 36,310 3,698 40,008 620 15,987 1,575 9,056 67,246 2001 32,013 4,928 36,941 512 536 1,058 2,140 41,187 2002 21,920 3,767 25,687 693 6,650 1,275 2,173 36,478 Source: Department of Fisheries Despite the fluctuating pattern in the total landings, the total value of the landed catch has shown an increasing pattern (see table 5). This is an indication that the price of fish has been rising over the years. This could be explained in terms of increasing fish demand versus fish supply. It is also worth noting that fish caught is basically for consumption. There is nothing like by-catches to be discarded or fish for fish meal. Table 5: Annual total fish landings in Malawi and their values Year Total Landings Landed value (tons) (MK’000) 1978 67,800 8,790 1979 59,800 8,372 1980 60,800 10,521 1981 47,300 8,220 1982 58,400 9,346 1983 64,900 17,649 1984 65,400 20,513 1985 62,100 27,646 1986 73,600 37,128 1987 81,800 40,580 1988 76,200 71,706 1989 69,100 77,345 1990 80,200 65,000 1991 63,425 89,804 1992 64,146 96,219 1993 64,822 130,916 1994 53,917 215,668 1995 33,895 203,370 1996 49,485 742,275 1997 40,435 808,700 1998 44,519 1,023,937 1999 44,849 1,123,915 2000 67,246 1,931,978 2001 41,187 1,253,320 2002 36,478 1,140,667 In Malawi, fishing gears are usually named after the fish they target, and sometimes in loose terms, a fishery is defined according to the fish species caught. Table 6 gives H-14
  • 18. the total annual landings of selected fish species/fisheries that dominated the catches between 2000 and 2003. Table 7 gives the corresponding monetary values of the landed catches of the selected fish species. Table 6 Estimated annual total landings of selected dominant fish species Annual total landings by species Species 2000 2001 2002 2003 Chambo 3,349.71 2,389.98 3,175.41 6,202.63 Kambuzi 3,454.50 2,698.15 1,765.24 1,948.42 Kasawala 592.95 2,163.12 66.79 228.92 Kampango 1,086.17 1,268.28 929.34 1,615.12 Mlamba 9,211.82 6,713.03 3,320.59 3,898.65 Mbaba 1,283.39 3,928.82 2,575.02 3,277.69 Mcheni 649.98 1,277.79 1,715.43 1,081.66 Ntchila 11.13 17.83 8.78 27.86 Sanjika 45.67 18.53 7.24 22.78 Usipa 8,751.73 3,726.62 4,293.08 4,986.87 Utaka 16,638.20 11,329.10 7,146.33 15,061.80 Chisawasawa 360.44 1,272.41 338.12 403.55 Ndunduma 3.31 13.94 131.04 166.62 Mpasa 84.51 37.64 214.24 482.46 Nkholokolo 58.43 281.94 13.34 148.74 Other tilapia 433.98 171.86 460.09 1,517.74 Table 7: Estimated annual total monetary values of selected fish species (in MK ' 000) Annual total values by species (MK ' 000) Species 2000 2001 2002 2003 Chambo 191,262.86 156,005.94 164,253.37 537,230.46 Kambuzi 46,647.27 52,029.33 33,774.93 64,041.32 Kasawala 10,290.65 31,412.11 1,038.03 10,589.46 Kampango 24,587.27 29,411.41 15,493.65 61,942.54 Mlamba - 108,762.27 71,608.52 92,079.62 Mbaba 39,258.90 109,077.14 61,989.31 150,713.65 Mcheni 13,466.50 28,784.35 47,214.35 45,325.16 Ntchila 64.94 - 131.70 92.87 Sanjika 228.35 58.83 - - Usipa 144,578.58 78,209.33 96,372.49 178,862.40 Utaka 289,005.53 264,156.85 157,123.98 564,491.16 Chisawasawa 2,343.46 6,665.31 2,272.73 1,394.94 Ndunduma - 22.65 335.46 662.31 Mpasa 745.38 123.46 - - Nkholokolo 423.13 1,595.31 70.19 1,482.19 Of these fish species, eight of them have shown that they are commercially important as they bring in a lot of revenue to the fishers and fish traders. Table 8 gives a list of H-15
  • 19. the top eight commercially important fish species over a period of four years, from 2000 to 2003. Table 8 Estimated annual total monetary values by species of commercially important fish species (' 000) Annual total values by species (MK ' 000) Species 2000 2001 2002 2003 Utaka 289,005.53 264,156.85 157,123.98 564,491.16 Chambo 191,262.86 156,005.94 164,253.37 537,230.46 Usipa 144,578.58 78,209.33 96,372.49 178,862.40 Mbaba 39,258.90 109,077.14 61,989.31 150,713.65 Kambuzi 46,647.27 52,029.33 33,774.93 64,041.32 Mlamba - 108,762.27 71,608.52 92,079.62 Kampango 24,587.27 29,411.41 15,493.65 61,942.54 Mcheni 13,466.50 28,784.35 47,214.35 45,325.16 4.3 Fisheries sector and food security Fish plays a vital and unique role in nutritional status of many Malawians as a source of protein, vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients. The nutritional benefits from fish are even higher among the poor because fish offers the only affordable option for obtaining these nutrients. In this regard, fish is crucial for addressing some of the most important concerns about nutrition security in Malawi, which include: child malnutrition, maternal malnutrition, nutritional anaemia, vitamin A deficiency and other nutrition related diseases. In addition, the high nutritional value of fish provides an important tool for mitigating the health impact of HIV infection. Because fish is on high demand, it is easily traded in both rural and urban communities. As a result, the sector is employing a significant proportion of the population as fishers, processors and traders enabling them to earn income for purchase of food to meet their household food and nutrition security. Households which vend in fish find it advantageous to sell fish and purchase other food items to improve their household food security and nutritional status and studies have shown that fish farmers and fishing communities are better off in terms of meal frequency, meal composition, meal diversity and availability of household assets. Because of the role fish can play in mitigating against food security at household level, among other factors, the estimated per capita fish consumption in Malawi has been declining over the years. Table 9 below gives population trends against annual fish catches and the estimated per capita fish consumption. Table 9: Malawi Population, Estimated Total fish catch and per capita fish consumption H-16
  • 20. Year Population Total Catch (tons) Fish supply/kg/person/year 1980 6,200,000 60,800 9.8 1981 6,400,000 47,300 7.4 1982 6,700,000 58,400 8.7 1983 6,900,000 64,900 9.4 1984 7,200,000 65,400 9.1 1985 7,400,000 62,100 8.4 1986 7,700,000 73,600 9.6 1987* 8,000,000 81,800 10.2 1988 8,100,000 76,200 9.4 1989 8,300,000 69,100 8.3 1990 8,500,000 80,200 9.4 1991 8,600,000 63,425 7.4 1992 8,800,000 64,146 7.3 1993 9,000,000 64,822 7.2 1994 9,200,000 53,917 5.9 1995 9,400,000 33,895 3.6 1996 9,500,000 49,485 5.2 1997 9,700,000 40,435 4.2 1998* 9,934,000 44,519 4.5 1999 10,100,000 44,849 4.4 2000 10,300,000 67,246 6.5 *1987 and 1998 are actual NSO survey years. The population increased at an annual rate of 3.8% until 1987 and subsequently decreased to around 2% between 1988 and 1998 (NSO, 2000). Incremental growth rate was projected based on NSO 2000 data. 4.4 Fisheries Management approach Fisheries have a number of characteristics that suggest that management will be necessary in order to avoid overexploitation of fish stocks. Fisheries management policies in Malawi have for a long time been guided by the conservation paradigm, that is a biologically based philosophy, focusing on the protection of fish stocks. The approach to fisheries management in Malawi has been the conventional government centred, with the Department of Fisheries (DoF) as the only management authority. Of late the approach has shifted from the government centred to community participation or co-management in some areas. Functionally, the Department of Fisheries has 6 major sections namely: Fisheries Administration, which covers issues of Policy and Planning; Research; Extension; Enforcement; Training; and Aquaculture. The Fisheries Administration section is based at the Departmental Headquarters in Lilongwe, while Research has its main base at Monkey Bay, and Training at Mpwepwe in Mangochi, where the Malawi College of Fisheries is based. Extension and Enforcement have centres in all fishing districts along the major water bodies in Malawi. H-17
  • 21. The Department of Fisheries is mandated to protect and conserve the national fish heritage of Malawi through appropriate control mechanisms. Currently, the operations of the Department are guided by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy of 2001, the Fisheries Management and Conservation Act of 1997, and the Fisheries Five Year Strategic Plan (2002-2007) that outlines the major strategies for the development and management of the sector. The Fisheries Policy and Strategic Plan development took into account the provisions of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. In a bid to fulfil its mandate, the Department of Fisheries developed its operational goal and objectives as follows: The Departmental goal is “to provide professional services to ensure sustainable fisheries resource utilisation and enhanced aquaculture through principles of good governance”. The Departmental operational objectives are: a) To ensure that all fisheries are managed according to operational management procedures. b) To restructure, reorganize and strengthen Department of Fisheries for effective internal, national and international communication. c) To strengthen user institutional capacity for fisheries resource management and governance, and d) To update legislation and policy in line with other national policies and legal instruments. 4.4.1 Basic fishery management structure As stated above, in Malawi, the Department of Fisheries’ management policies have been influenced by the principles of the conservation paradigm, i.e. a centralised biologically led approach that has its roots in the theories of Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY). The approach is centred at the national level, with lower degrees or none at all of user5 participation. It is documented that in principle, the approach is less costly and less time consuming in establishing, but it tends to be less sustainable and more costly over time. The major costs of this kind of fishery management approach are the transaction costs (Hanna, 1995), and these involve the costs of gathering information, designing regulations, co-ordinating participants, monitoring conditions and enforcing regulations. In the short-run, this approach is said to be less time consuming and less costly to establish, because in the establishment phase, the approach relies on a small number of experts to gather the initial information, design the regulations, and involves very little participation by resource users. In the long-run, the approach is more costly and less sustainable, because there is a shift in the transaction costs. The transaction costs of monitoring and enforcement are high since the approach creates an incentive to the users to sabotage the programme because uncertainty about the goals of the process tends to shorten time horizons of users, encouraging short-term actions at the expense of long-term sustainability (ibid. p65). Based on this approach, the research section of the Department carries out planned research activities annually in the fields of Stock Assessment, Limnology, Frame 5 The term user(s), or resource user in this paper will be used to mean the fishing communities, and therefore, the terms may be interchangeable. H-18
  • 22. Surveys (annual census of fishers, fishing craft and gears), Catch and Effort monitoring, as well as demand-driven research to address specific fishing community problems. Results from these research activities are used to review the management plan developed in the previous year and develop one for the forth-coming year. Some of the information is developed into extension messages for the target groups. Research – Extension meetings and in some cases Research – Extension – Fisher meetings are held to share information on the fishery. 4.4.2 Development of fisheries legislation in Malawi The first fishing regulations in Malawi, the then Nyasaland, were introduced in 1930, by adding a section (Section 3: Fishing Rules MP.437 of 1930) to the Game Ordinance (Chirwa, 1996). The ordinance statutorily enabled the Ministry of Natural Resources to implement, through the Department of Fisheries6, regulations with regard to the sector. In 1949 the objectives of these regulations mainly aimed at controlling fisheries, to regulate commercial fishing, to assure its taxation, and to provide, as far as it was possible, an equitable return to the largest possible number of fishermen and all those engaged in the fishing industry. By 1973, the Malawian political institutions noted the need to formulate a new Fisheries Act. It became necessary to take into account: a) the need to conserve fishing stocks to give a long term optimum catch; b) to adapt fishing methods regulations to modernised gear; and c) the dangers of pollution. Consequently, a completely new statute, namely the Fisheries Act, 1973, replaced the Fisheries Ordinance of 1949. By mid 1990s, there was a gradual shift in the fisheries management philosophy from the conservation paradigm to the social/community paradigm, i.e. focusing on fisher community involvement in fisheries management. As such, the Fisheries Act of 1973 was reviewed with the intention of including community participation in fisheries management. A new act known as Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, 1997, was then passed in parliament in October, 1997 to replace the 1973 Fisheries Act. Current fishing regulations for the various water bodies in Malawi include a series of technical restrictions of fishing gears, i.e. type, mesh size, head line length, prohibition of fishing periods and times. Consequently, the chambo fishery has had the greatest impact on the development of management measures for most of the fishing areas in lakes Malawi and Malombe. Closed seasons and areas have been instituted in the areas that were found to be breeding areas for chambo. The following are some of the practical regulations that are being used, which target the artisanal fishers in the chambo fishery. a) Closed Fishing Season and Area: This regulation was designed to protect chambo stocks during their spawning period. Selected fishing gears that target chambo (especially beach seines) are prohibited to be used in the closed areas and during the closed season. The closed season runs from 1st November to 31st December of each year in Lake Malawi for all beach seines and ring nets, 6 The Department of Fisheries in Malawi was established in 1946 (Chirwa, 1996, p 369) H-19
  • 23. and from 1st January to 31st March of each year in Lake Malombe for all seine nets and from 1st November to 31st March in the Upper Shire River. b) Mesh size restrictions: This regulation was formulated to supplement the one on closed season and areas, in order to protect juvenile chambo from being caught before they are mature to breed. Minimum mesh sizes for various types of fishing gears are set based on the size at maturity information for chambo. c) Minimum takeable size of fish: Based on size at maturity information, this regulation was designed to supplement the mesh size restriction regulation by protecting juvenile fish. Apart from chambo, different fish species have minimum allowed takeable sizes. For the small-scale commercial fishers, the following regulations apply: a) Code end minimum mesh size for trawl nets should be one inch (1 inch) b) Trawl nets to be operated in waters not less than 1.8km (1 nautical mile) from the shore c) A fishing unit has to have a valid fishing licence and fish in prescribed fishing zones. The license fee depends on the fishing gear, the power of the fishing vessel and the fishing zone. d) Fishing licences are not transferable. e) Closed season for ring nets, these are the same as those for the beach seine nets, i.e. The closed season runs from 1st November to 31st December of each year in Lake Malawi for all ring nets. As can be observed from the fishing regulations above, they are all biologically based. None of these regulations addresses the initial ideas that led to the development of management regulations of assuring fisheries taxation to provide, as far as it can be possible, an equitable return to the largest possible number of fishermen and all those engaged in the fishing industry. Prior to 1993, the fisheries management regime in Malawi was entirely based on the top-down approach with central government agencies deciding on the issues and needs for the industry. Compliance with management regulations, however, has been low due to inadequate enforcement of fisheries regulations exacerbated by financial constraints and the “open-entry” nature of the traditional fisheries. The collapse of the Chambo stocks in Lake Malombe and the Upper Shire River in the early 1990s revealed the ineffectiveness of the centralised management measures used hitherto. In response to this, a management plan based on conventional technical measures was formulated by the Chambo Project in 1993 and was to be implemented through a more consultative and participatory approach referred to as Participatory Fisheries Management (PFM) approach. The objective of the PFM approach was to restore and sustain the collapsed stocks in Lake Malombe and the Upper Shire River system. Again, the approach in this case was biologically based. The PFM initiative, which was envisaged as an alternative fisheries management arrangement was introduced by Government in Lake Malombe on a pilot scale in 1993. Since this concept was not supported by a policy statement and legal H-20
  • 24. framework when it was introduced, it became necessary that a policy statement be formulated and incorporated in the new National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy and Legislation. The PFM sub-policy which was approved in 2001 has the following key objectives: 1. To achieve the active participation of local fishing communities in the management of the fish resources 2. To promote legal instruments and procedures for the participation of local fisheries management authorities in the management of the fish resources, and 3. To develop and maintain the capacity to monitor, support and conduct research on participatory fisheries management within the Department of Fisheries. 4.4.3 Participatory Fisheries Management (PFM) Participatory Fisheries Management (PFM) or co-management as understood in the Department of Fisheries in Malawi refers to the participation of fishing communities in the management of fishery resources. It is worth noting that community participation in natural resource management can take different forms ranging from where the government (or managing authority) takes much of the control, in what is commonly termed top-down or instructive to where the communities take full control of resource management, in what is commonly termed community based management. The participatory fishery management system in Malawi, does involve all the key stakeholders. Basically the key stakeholders are the fishers, the DoF, and the donors of projects in the fisheries sector. Following the conceptual requirements of the PFM approach of the need to assign resource ownership rights and user rights for effective resource management and sustainability of the PFM programme, it became necessary that fishing areas be demarcated into fishery management units (FMU) based on biological or ecological indicators. An example of this is that of Lakes Malombe, Chilwa and Chiuta. This developed from the provisions in the Fisheries Management and Conservation Act of 1997, where these FMUs are supposed to be managed by Fisheries Management Authorities (FMAs). According to the Fisheries Act, the FMAs are provided for in the PFM section. Based on lessons learnt in the PFM pilot areas, there is an on going debate of whether the demarcation of the FMUs should basically be on the premise of ecological zones, or it should also take into account the socio-cultural background of the fishing communities around the ecological zones. The debate was sparked realising that the FMU concept, in the case of Malawi, falls under the Participatory Fisheries Management approach, and brings into play the issues of property rights, access rights and controlled access to the fishery, especially in the artisanal fisheries sub-sector. Since the PFM approach is yet to spread to Lake Malawi, the Department of Fisheries is in the process of designing various studies that will generate both biological and socio-cultural information for the FMU demarcation and development H-21
  • 25. of FMU management plans. It will be based on these management plans, that fishery resource management agreements will be signed between the FMAs and the DoF. 4.4.4 Access to the fishery The Malawi fisheries can be described as a regulated open-access fishery. As indicated above, the small scale fisheries are divided into two categories of fishers, the traditional fishers (artisanal fishers) and the semi-commercial fishers. Based on the fishing efficiency of the gears used by each category of fishers, the traditional fishers do not have any serious harvesting control measures or access to the fishery as opposed to their colleagues in the semi-commercial group. The measures that are in place that control the harvest levels in the traditional category are hinged on the control of fishing effort, that is the size of the fishing gear, in terms of net length, and observation of closed seasons. In addition to this, the traditional fishers are free to join or exit the fishery. While in the semi-commercial fishers category, the control measure is through the acquisition of a fishing licence and allocation of such fishers in designated fishing zones. Each zone has a prescribed number of fishing units that can be allowed to fish there. The quota system of catch control in the semi-commercial fisheries is currently under discussion but has not been finalised. The potential problem that has been identified with the quota system is the implementation of a mechanism that will enable effective monitoring and enforcement of the system. This is in view of the fact that some crew members of the trawl units sell the fish while in the fishing grounds, and when they land the catch, it is recorded less the fish sold off-shore. These crew members do this to beat their masters due to low wages. There are management provisions that are backed by the legislation that areas with stocks that show a serious decline can be closed to fishing for a prescribed period of time. Similarly, the legislation empowers the Director of Fisheries and the Minister responsible for Fisheries to cancel or re-allocate licensees from areas that have high fishing efforts to areas with low fishing pressure. The provisions in the Fisheries Act do not allow the semi-commercial fishing licences to be transferable. However, the licensing system has not been used as a tool to restrict entrants and to convey exclusive and limited fishing rights. Consequently, there are no legal instruments to empower fisheries management authorities such as Beach Village Committees (BVCs) to limit entry into the fishery. This has resulted in conflicts between resource users whereby fishers migrate from one beach to another. 4.4.5 Economically Rational Management The management system currently in place does not include subsidies to the fishers. In the past the government used to control the fish prices at the markets. It was later discovered that this approach to fish marketing was disadvantaging the fishers. To create an enabling environment for the fishers and to earn as they should from the fishery, the government liberalised the fish trade. All capable fishers survive in the fishing industry at their own cost. H-22
  • 26. Government has never seriously looked upon fisheries as a source of revenue. The only way that government collects revenue from the fishery is through sales of fishing licences and sales of fish from research vessels. It is very unfortunate that sales of fishing licences to artisanal fishers has not seriously been enforced, and in most cases only about 20% of the fishers renew their fishing licences annually. On a similar note, efforts to calculate resource rents from the fishery have never been taken serious. This could be attributed to the way fishery managers seriously think of the other benefits the nation could get from the fishery apart from contributing towards food security and at microeconomic level the benefits to the fishing families. If careful considerations could be given to the issue of estimating the resource rent and how this could be utilised for effective fisheries management, appropriate management measure could be developed. However, it should be remembered that the management approach in fisheries has for a long time been dominated by the concepts of MSY. This is evidenced from the fishing regulations that were developed and are currently in use. It is only of late that new dimensions in fisheries management are beginning to incorporate socio-economic factors. 5. POLICY MAKING In line with the National Development Policies, the National Environmental Policy (NEP) and National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy (NAFAP) were formulated. The NEP was prepared in 1994 in response to the Rio Summit under Agenda 21. It aimed at: a) promoting the efficient utilisation and management of natural resources; b) facilitating the rehabilitation and management of essential ecosystems and ecological processes; c) enhancing public awareness of the importance of sound environmental management; and d) promoting cooperation among Government, local communities including women groups, non-governmental organisations and the private sector in the management and utilisation of the natural resources and the environment. The Fisheries Policy (NAFAP) aims at maximising the sustainable yield from the national waters of Malawi with emphasis on local community participation. The secondary objectives are to improve the efficiency of exploitation, processing and marketing, promote investment in the fishing industry, promote rural fish farming units, exploit all opportunities to expand existing and develop new aquatic resources. NAFAP supports the development of the fisheries management strategies as guided by the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (Article 7). Fish drives the commercialisation of rural economies, with a multiplier effect of 1:5, between the point of production and consumption, thus improving food marketing. Within the agricultural and natural resources sector, fisheries is the second largest employer, second from the crop sector. It has the largest number of employees (4) per enterprise, compared to 3.8 under crops; it generates the largest profit per employee per hour (K50.15) compared to mining (K16.64) and crops (K5.94). In addition to capture fisheries production, the Department is mandated to increase and sustain fish production from rural small scale farmers as well as large scale commercial aquaculture (fish farming) operations in order to improve fish supply within the country and for export. H-23
  • 27. The commitment of the government, therefore through the Department of Fisheries is to promote fish production so that the standard of living of the rural communities is improved through income generation. 5.1 Fisheries and Economic Growth Strategies Fish Production is identified as one of the sources of pro-poor growth in the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP) and falls under Pillar 1 (Promotion of rapid sustainable pro-poor economic growth and structural transformation). Under fish production, the aim is to maximize the sustainable yield from the waters of Malawi and man-made water bodies. As indicated earlier, this approach targets the individual fishing community households, rather than through the resource rents at a much higher level of development. For positive contribution to Pillar 1 of the PRSP, the Department of Fisheries advocates for enhanced fish production from both Capture fisheries and Fish Farming. Recent research studies have indicated that there is about 30-35,000 tonnes of fish that can be caught annually from the unexploited deep waters. The Malawi Economic Growth Strategy (MEGS) which was developed in 2004 aims at achieving high economic growth through the stimulation of trade and investment and the restoration of macroeconomic stability as a follow-on to the PRSP. In the MEGS framework, the fisheries sector has not been considered as one of the sectors that could contribute to economic growth through investment (see figure 3), instead, under natural resources, it is the mining sub-sector that has been highlighted. H-24
  • 28. Figure 3: The Framework for the Malawi Economic Growth Strategy Resources Policies Political W ill Macro-economic conditions for growth Opportunities & Supportive Legal/ Reg. F ram ework Incentives for: Public Sector Investment Program me U tilities/Communications/Infrastructure/Finance/Irrigation Development Partners Private Sector Supporting Investment Agriculture N atural R esources Manufacturing Services Tobacco, Tea, Sugar, C otton, Mining Text/Garm en t, Tourism M aize & cassava Agro-proces s ing Distribution/Import/Export/W holesale/Retail/Transport Trade B odies/ Domestic/International Trade Agreements G rowth of at least 6% per annum Source: MEPD/Task Force This Malawi Economic Growth Strategy recognises that Government resources are limited. It, therefore, seeks to deliver higher growth rates by stimulating investment in high growth sectors. Generally, an improved business climate would result in an increased revenue base for Government with which it can meet additional expenditure requirements. Due to current fiscal gaps, Malawi requires budgetary support by development cooperating partners to finance a large portion of its development programmes. The Malawi Economic Growth Strategy also relies on mobilising the resources within the private sector at micro, small, medium and large- scale levels (GoM 2004). It is envisaged that the Malawi Economic Growth Strategy will seek, as a central theme, to improve the business climate in Malawi so as to unlock and attract new investment and trade. The Department of Fisheries has undertaken some strategic steps in order to ensure that the sector contributes positively to the national economy so as to make a dent in poverty reduction as well as food security. Therefore its priority focus is to achieve the following objective: Stimulate contribution of the fisheries sector to sustainable economic growth The major strategies include: • Promote sector investment program • Enhance post harvest utilization of fish and fisheries products • Enhance aquaculture production H-25
  • 29. • Carry out resource assessment programs of unexploited stocks • Promote sustainable production in capture fisheries through the development of sound management plans • Disseminate research findings to all stakeholders • Implement and ensure effective enforcement Supplementary strategies include: • Develop and maintain human capacity to manage fisheries resources. • Enhance timely information exchange at all levels • Clearly define roles, targets and responsibilities of DoF Officers. • Review of DoF activities in research, management interventions and project objectives and activities • Develop and implement performance plan management system • Enhance capacity of DoF administration. • Increase knowledge and skills base for both private and public sector. • Review and implement DOF devolution plan • Develop fisheries management agreement with communities • Policy review and harmonization • Legislation review and harmonization • Master plan production • Conduct economic sectoral study The strategies outlined above will be achieved by implementing activities summarised in the departmental strategic plan. The Departmental Strategic Plan places much priority and emphasis on fisheries and Aquaculture Development for maximum impact. Specific areas of emphasis on fisheries include enhancing post- harvest utilization of fish and fisheries products; sector investment and development; enhancing aquaculture production; carrying out resource assessment programmes of unexploited stocks; promote sustainable production in capture fisheries; implement and ensure effective enforcement and reviewing of fisheries policy and legislation. 6. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS The preceding sections allude to the fact that the fisheries sector has the potential to contribute towards national economic growth and poverty reduction. There are a number of issues in the case of Malawi, that have prevented the sector to make full contribution towards these developmental goals. The original fisheries management approach the Department of Fisheries had in the 1940s were going to pave way for the fisheries sector to effectively contribute towards economic growth and poverty reduction. This led to the development of the first fishing regulations that aimed at controlling the fisheries, regulating commercial fishing, ensuring its taxation, and providing, as far as it was possible, an equitable return to the largest possible number of fishermen and all those engaged in the fishing industry. The problem came in when the fisheries sector was reviewed in the early 1970s following the production of a new fisheries act in 1973. The new management approach was only biologically based with its roots in the MSY concept. Since then the fisheries management approach has been biologically based. H-26
  • 30. However, the Malawi fisheries sector has the potential to make a substantial contribution towards economic development and poverty reduction. This is based on the fact that, despite the government taking the biological approach to fisheries management, the sector still employs and supports the livelihoods of a substantial amount of people, as well as contributing about 4% to the GDP. In view of this, the following recommendation are made that can, if implemented, enable the fisheries sector contribute effectively to economic growth and poverty reduction. The fishery management approach has to shift from the conservation approach to either the rationalisation paradigm or social paradigm approaches. The rationalisation approach focuses on economic efficiency and wealth creation in the fishery. This requires reduction to optimal level the number of fishers, and instituting private property rights. The social paradigm approach focuses on community welfare, distributional equity and other social and cultural fishery benefits. For a meaningful switch from the conservation approach to either of the two above, there is need to carry out a number of studies that should provide background information for the formulation of the new management approach. Such studies include in general terms, a fishery sector study review. Within the armpits of the review, fisheries sector investment profiles will be developed based on socio-economic and cultural studies, the impact of the fisheries sector on the national economy and poverty reduction based on different management scenarios and approaches. Finally, the current desk study has been of great benefit in the sense that it has sparked an interest in reviewing the current fisheries management approach in line with economic growth and poverty reduction. The major challenges in the review will be the generation or capturing of adequate data for such a review, considering that there are a lot of gaps in data and information at hand; secondly, the creation of awareness and convincing the policy makers that the fisheries sector has a high potential to contribute towards national economic growth and poverty reduction. H-27
  • 31. REFERENCES AND ADDITIONAL READING Chirwa, W.C. (1996) Fishing rights, Ecology and Conservation along Southern Lake Malawi, 1920 – 1964. African Affairs, 95, p351 – 377. Europa (1993) The Europa World Yearbook. Vol. II, Europa Publications Limited GoM/UN (1993) Situation Analysis of Poverty in Malawi GoM (2000) Profile of Poverty in Malawi, 1998, National Economic Council (Poverty Monitoring System) GoM (2002) Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy paper GoM (2004) Malawi Economic Growth Strategy Hanna, S. (1995) Efficiencies of User Participation in Natural Resource Management. In Property Rights and the Environment - Social and Ecological Issues. Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics and The World Bank. Washington DC. NSO (2002) National Statistical Office, Malawi – An Atlas of Social Statistics H-28
  • 32. Annex 1 Table 1: 2003 Frame Survey counts of fishing craft, gear owners, crewmembers and fishing gears by District Fisheries Office. Indicator District MH7 MH SA KK NB KA LA ZA LS Total L. Me L. Mw (2003) Fishers resident 449 1431 697 2102 2109 1871 387 895 1828 11769 Fishers non-resident 39 478 451 118 128 347 21 1534 657 3773 Crewmembers resident. 3170 8318 2489 5962 4794 3974 1410 884 800 31801 Crew non-resident 527 3860 1446 1082 782 1080 207 1235 292 10511 Plank boats with engine 0 270 74 128 21 0 0 0 0 493 Plank boats without engine 372 1087 318 541 230 7 35 407 2 2999 Dug out canoe 56 1634 968 1454 2218 2471 326 1451 1246 11824 Gill nets 568.5 10633 7719 19040 7618.5 8440 2580 16500.5 4568 77668 Chilimira nets 0 640 218 442 728 818 233 0 0 3079 Chambo seines 28 6 1 35 0 1 0 0 0 71 Longlines 65 322 387 369 180.3 483 89 504.8 487 2884 Kambuzi seines 1 78 26 107 95 78 0 0 0 385 Mosquito nets 80 185 7 56 3 10 0 2 19 362 Fish traps 1001 10 116 72 0 95 0 20472 5305 27071 Beach seine nets 0 0 21 0 3 11 8 19 36 98 Scoop nets 0 0 1 46 1 0 0 2 33 83 Nkacha nets 184 100 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 309 Cast nets 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 759 766 Handlines 0 100 139 223 477 376 16 11 41 1383 Kandwindwi 3 37 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 42 Matemba seines nets 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 276 0 276 Ndoloma 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Chomanga 0 0 0 0 0 0 24350 0 24350 7 These are abbreviations for fishing districts : MH = Mangochi, L. Me = Lake Malombe, L. Mw = Lake Malawi, SA = Salima, KK = Nkhotakota, NB = Nkhata Bay, KA = Karonga, LA = Likoma, ZA = Zomba, LS = Lower Shire H-29