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Fisheries sector get USAid boost

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Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change Eisenhower Mkaka has said it expects the department of fisheries to improve its service delivery in fighting illegal fishing.

He said this when he received a patrol boat and other research equipment from the USAid-Pact project called Refresh.

The equipment, which comprises a remotely operated underwater camera, will assist researchers to capture fisheries data for informed decision-making.

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Mkaka said the support is timely.

“For a long time, players in the sector, especially those in the lakeshore districts, have been complaining that limited resources constrains them from implanting some monitoring activities on the lake.

“But now we have state of art equipment like the boat and underwater camera that will greatly improve their work,” he said.

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Mkaka then warned people who will be using the equipment against abuse to ensure that the equipment is serving their intended purpose.

Acting Mission Director for USAid in Malawi Natasha De Marken challenged the fisheries department to use the equipment prudently to help it in generating data which can assist government is decision making.

“The data captured through the underwater camera will greatly help government of Malawi is making sure that it is making decisions based on the reality on the ground. Fisheries resources remains a crucial component of the country’s economy such that we need jealously guard it,” she said.

Fisheries products are especially critical to the rural poor. Fisheries play an important role in food and nutrition security. It provides 60 percent of the dietary animal protein intake and supplies 40 percent of total proteins, to Malawian diets.

But of late, fish levels in the country’s water bodies have been dwindling which pose a threat that some species might wiped out if not checked.

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