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Theme: “Small scale fisheries and aquaculture for improved economy, livelihoods, food and
nutrition security.”

Fisheries in Malawi play an important role in food and nutrition security. It provides 70 percent of the dietary animal protein intake (micronutrients and fatty acids) and supplies 40% of total proteins to Malawian diets. The Fisheries sector is composed of capture fisheries (small-scaleand large-scale), aquaculture and aquarium trade sub-sectors. Small-scale fisheries traditionally represent an important share of the fisheries sector in the country and their considerable role has long been recognized as they contribute over 90 percent of the total fish landings. Small-scale fisheries provide valuable employment opportunities and represent a pillar for the livelihood of fishing dependent communities and for the empowerment of women, who are known to play an active role along the value chain of small-scale fisheries products.
On the other hand, aquaculture helps to meet the growing demand for fish and provides fish consumers with healthy protein while reducing the pressure on wild fish stocks. Currently the aquaculture subsector employs 15,465 people out of which 62 % are males and 38 % females. The Department of Fisheries in conjunction will its stakeholders including NGOs, Projects and /or Development Partners and Representatives of local leaders, fish farmers and fishers will be holding a National Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum in the month of December, 2022. This is against a background of critical challenges that negate development of the fisheries sector in Malawi. Some of the critical challenges facing the fishery and aquaculture sector include:

  • Marginalization of small-scale fisheries in respect of social protection and subsidies.
  • Scarcity of data on fishing effort and catches which is a basis of sustainable fisheries
  • Low capacity in monitoring, control and surveillance of the fisheries.
  • Inadequate supply of quality inputs for aquaculture (e.g. seed and feed) and the species.
    cultured are mostly wild strains and hence their performance is not appealing to most
  • Lack of coordination, weak institutional capacity and poor extension services and lack
    of reliable information.
  • Insufficient financial resources and limited access to loans as well as lack of clear
    demonstration of economic viability of the aquaculture sub sector.
  • Impact of climate change and challenges related to perennial water availability and high
    temperature variability for farmed fish species.
  • Land ownership biases against women in contrast to the fact that most rural aquaculture
    activities are undertaken by women.

This Forum therefore marks an important milestone in fostering science-policy nexus on fisheries and aquaculture sector in Malawi. This highly interactive event will provide information and working sessions related to development of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture in Malawi. The Forum will also provide an opportunity to refine commitments of actions and pledges from key stakeholders.
The Forum will be opened officially by a Senior Official from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change. The event will be characterized by Key Note address by a fisheries expert and relevant presentations based on the areas of focus.

For Whom?
The Forum will bring together key actors from across the fishery and aquaculture value chains responsible for planning, setting up new and managing existing interventions. Over 100 delegates comprising Representatives of Fisheries & Aquaculture cooperatives/Associations/Networks/ CFA/BVCs, Representatives of Beach Village Committees, District Councils, Academicians/Researchers –LUANAR, MZUNI, MUST, MUBAS), Non governmental and Civil Society Organisations supporting the fisheries sector, Fish value chain actors, Donor partners, Projects within the Agriculture Environment and Natural Resources Sector, Officials from Banks and credit Institutions and Interested partners, among others. The fish farmers’ and fishers’ representatives will present illustrative best practices as well as new developments in the field of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture.

Theme for the forum
In commemoration of the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture (IYAFA 2022) the theme for the forum will be:
Small scale fisheries and aquaculture for improved economy, livelihoods, food and nutrition security
The event will also commemorate the World Day of Fisheries (which is observed on 21st November annually and it emphasizes on the importance of healthy aquatic ecosystems and the importance of securing sustainable fish stocks around the world).

Areas of Focus
Presentations and discussions will focus on recent advancements in the following areas:
Data and information on SSF and aquaculture (i.e. Digitalization, drones & VMS)

  • Governance and management of SSF and aquaculture
  • Integration of social protection in the fisheries sector
  • Climate Change impacts on SSF and Aquaculture
  • Fisheries value chains
  • Implementation of the FAO SSF Guidelines Fish for women and youth empowerment
  • Fish for food and nutrition security
  • Monitoring Control and Surveillance

Aims and Objectives
The event will provide platform for the presentation and discussion of:

  1. Taking stock of the current situation of small-scale fisheries and aquaculture and
    identify key areas of intervention and find strategies for the implementation of the
    FAO SSF Guidelines.
  2. Existing and emerging interventions in the SSF and aquaculture, the lessons learnt
    and important results/outcomes
  3. Areas of focus requiring high level management consideration
  4. Fostering more in-depth cooperation and dialogue among various actors in the
    fishery and aquaculture value chains.

In addition to the above, the event will create an excellent opportunity for networking and establish a sustainable network of partner and stakeholder institutions.

From this event, the expected outcomes will include the following:

  • Participants will learn from good practices that will be demonstrated by various
    institutions across the fishery and aquaculture value chains
  • Practitioners will utilize the opportunity to disseminate tangible results of successful
  • Participants will meet their peers and share what is workable and what is not
    workable, and identify synergies and ways of working together for future perspectives.
  • Participants will meet and network with relevant stakeholders e.g. finance and banking
    services in the fishery and aquaculture sector

Service providers and practitioners will be able to provide feedback into concrete recommendations for action in respect of the subsequent programs/interventions.

The first day will consist of interaction with the Small scale fishing community members or fish farmers to hear their stories through exhibits. There will also be presentations from various stakeholders on their interventions in the sector. On the second day of the forum, a special session will be held on Finance and Investment for Aquaculture Enterprises in Malawi, in order to explore options for enhancing access to
investment financing for aquaculture

  • Date : 12 December 2022
  • Time : 08:00 - 16:30 (UTC+2)