Find Fisheries expertise in Malawi

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute 31% of the GDP (2007), while fisheries contributed about 4% to the GDP (2003). Malawi is a landlocked country but approximately 20% of the countries land area is covered by water, supporting near 15% of the global fish water biodiversity. The fisheries has been estimated to contribute approximately 62,000 primary sector jobs and about 350,000 secondary sector jobs and as such is an important livelihood for many Malawians.

The demand for fish in Malawi is very high, and, as a result nearly all capture is locally consumed. There is an active trade of aquarium and exotic fish, with export countries ranging from the EU to South Africa, Japan, and the United States.

As Malawi does not have sea access, the fisheries is composed exclusively of capture fisheries and aquaculture. For capture fisheries, the vast majority (85-90%) of fish landings come from artisanal fisheries, the rest of fish landings coming from small commercial fisheries. Three quarters of catch comes from Lake Malawi. Lake Chilwa, Lake Malombe and Lake Chiuta are the other important water bodies contributing 14%, 1% and 2% to total catch respectively. The catch profile for artisanal fisheries includes chambo, kambuzi, Usipa, Utaka, Kampango and Mlamba.

Aquaculture in Malawi is still at an early stage of development, though is growing at a very fast rate, nearly 7% a year. Aquaculture in Malawi was almost exclusively composed of pond culture. The catch profile is dominated by tilapia (93%), followed by catfish (5%) and a small number of exotic fish (2%).

The Department of Fisheries aims at maximizing the sustainable yield from fish stocks that can economically exploited from the natural waters.

Fisheries organisations in Malawi
Fisheries Department
Malawi Fisheries Research Institute
Maldeco Fisheries