Lake Chilwa Bylaws now in force

As a means of controlling fish population, communities surrounding Lake Chilwa have been advised to follow proper fishing methods by using recommended fishing gear.

Speaking at Kachulu in Zomba during the signing ceremony of the By-laws meant to control fishing activities in the lake, Chief of Party for Fish Project Allan Brooks said time has come for communities around the country’s lakes to be responsible in conserving aquatic life.

“I am so happy to be involved in the whole drafting process and am grad to say that the whole process has been participatory in such a sense that we engaged the government, the district commissioners, even the fishermen themselves,” Brooks said.

And in his words Chairperson for Machinga District Council, David Chitedze said the coming in of the bylaws will have a direct impact on the economic status of the country.

He said: “In the absence of the laws, fish population have been dwindling which poses a threat to fishing in the area.”

Speaking on behalf of Traditional leaders that came to witness the signing of the laws, Traditional Authority Nkagula said it is the responsibility of everyone involved in fishing to enforce and abide by the set laws.

“He said he delighted that the laws have now come into force since they had to wait a long time and have expressed optimism that the laws will as well protect water which have now filled the lake following the drying up of the lake last year,” TA Mkagula said.

The drafting of the By-laws dates back to 2015 and the signing of the laws by the department of fisheries in the ministry of Agriculture, traditional leaders as well as district council officials from three districts of Zomba Machinga and Phalombe on Friday, signifies that the laws have now come into force.

Among other laws stipulated in the Bylaws include the use of proper fishing gear and the wanton cutting down of trees around the lake to control siltation.

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