Fish farming & conservation in Malawi – Salima, on the shore of Lake Malawi, is the site of one of the region’s largest fish farms, operated by Stuart M. Grant Ltd, which focuses on the professional fishing and transport of cichlids both locally and internationally. The lake contains hundreds of species of fish which are in demand by enthusiasts around the world. The cichlids are collected by professional local divers and the fishing sites are carefully monitored to ensure there is no over fishing or destruction of the aquatic ecosystem. The fish farm also reintroduces cichlids on the brink of extinction through various breeding projects carried out on the farm. Working closely with the Department of Fisheries, the company releases the fi ngerlings back into the lake. More and more tourists have shown an interest in close interaction with the cichlids. It was for this reason that Red Zebra Tours was born, offering picnic and hiking excursions and lake safaris as well as accommodation at the Red Zebra Lodge with its views of Lake Malawi.
One-third of the world’s wild-caught fisheries are depleted because of over fishing, pollution and the effects of climate change. In some places, stocks have declined or collapsed due to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing — hitting the coastal communities that rely on seafood for food and income the hardest.
As fish populations have dwindled, the aquaculture — or fish farming — sector now accounts for more than half of worldwide seafood production. Yet some aquaculture practices have degraded coastal ecosystems, polluting the oceans with waste and destroying critical habitats.
Conservation International is addressing these issues from ocean to plate, helping to sustainably improve food security and livelihoods for the billions of people who need fisheries to survive.
Demand for seafood is rising due to population growth, rising affluence and globalization. New technologies have enhanced our ability to pull more fish from the oceans, while pollution and habitat degradation are depleting or sickening the fish populations that remain.
Conservation International protects biodiversity and improves the wellbeing of ocean-dependent communities by implementing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture solutions built on partnerships and investments from ocean to plate.
Lake Malawi is home to unique fish species. Nearly 10% are endangered
An estimated 9% of the 458 fish species assessed in Lake Malawi are at high risk of extinction. This is worrying, not least because the lake, and the fish species that occupy it, are very unique.
Fish farming & conservation in Malawi – With more than 1000 fish species, Lake Malawi has more distinct fish species than any other lake in the world. New species are discovered regularly and some scientists believe that the lake may contain more than 2000 species. As a result of this exceptional diversity the lake is considered a global biodiversity treasure because almost all of the species that it contains occur nowhere else on the planet.
Lake Malawi is immense. Located between Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique, it covers an area of more than 29,000 square kilometres, and holds 7% of the world’s available surface freshwater. Despite this Lake Malawi is under threat. Human activities, like deforestation in the lake’s catchment area and over-fishing, are taking their toll on the lake. A recent easements by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 9% of its evaluated species as “endangered”.
This is worrying not only from a biodiversity perspective, but also because this is one of Africa’s poorest regions and people rely on the fish for their livelihoods and for food.