February 18, 2024

SADC hands over fisheries equipment to the Government of Malawi through the Programme for Improving Fisheries Governance and Blue Economy Trade Corridors in SADC Region (PROFISHBLUE project)

Ms. Angele Makombo N'tumba, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration, on 9th February 2024 presided over the handover ceremony of fisheries equipment to Dr. Yusuf Mkungula, Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change of Malawi who received the equipment on behalf of the Government.. The ceremony took place in Salima District in Senya Bay at the SADC Senga Bay Fisheries Research Station on the shores of Lake Malawi.

The SADC Secretariat, through the PROFISHBLUE Project, is extending support to the SADC Senga Bay Fisheries Research Station in Salima. This support encompasses the provision of equipment to enhance fisheries management through stock assessments, frame survey and monitoring of fishing operations on Lake Malawi. The equipment comprises a utility vehicle, an ICP-AES Trace elements analyser, Niskin water sampling bottles, two scientific laptops, a FISH finder, office furniture, air conditioners, and a Portable Turbidity Meter. The donations aim to bolster the operationalisation of fisheries production and the advancement of the blue economy.

The SADC Secretariat also installed Vessel Monitoring Devices on fishing boats in Lake Malawi, with support from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), which enhances fisheries management activities, including monitoring, control and surveillance.

Dr. Mkungula expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the SADC Secretariat and other partners for their diligent efforts in coordinating the PROFISHBLUE Project. He acknowledged the importance of the assets and gadgets in advancing the project's goals, highlighting the tangible progress made and the promising future for fisheries in Malawi and the region.

He emphasised the challenge posed by the declining fish supply, which negatively impacts the health and nutrition standards of the people of Malawi who heavily rely on fish and fishery products. He called for sustainable collaboration through open learning and communication, maximising the knowledge brought in by technical expertise and shared learning experiences.

Dr. Mkungula urged the personnel at the SADC Senga Bay Fisheries Research Station to employ innovative ideas and work diligently to elevate their work and find creative ways to meet the growing demands and desirable standards of the fishing industry.

Ms. N'tumba underscored the significance of the donations in improving the research environment and supporting national and regional fisheries research initiatives, particularly on Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa. She commended the Government of Malawi for facilitating the implementation of various SADC programmes and activities, aligning with the objective of poverty eradication and regional integration. She emphasised that the project is well-positioned to promote sustainable management of fisheries resources within the blue economy context, enhancing food and nutrition security, creating employment through value chain activities, facilitating intra-regional trade, and building adaptive capacity against climate change and other external shocks.

PROFISHBLUE is a project supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB), which was launched in October 2021 with a grant totalling US$9.2 million to support the implementation of best practices in fisheries governance and blue economy trade corridors in the SADC region. The project aims to promote sustainable management of fisheries resources within the blue economy context to improve food and nutritional security, create employment through value chain activities, facilitate intra-regional trade, and build adaptive capacity.

The project is concentrating its interventions in African Development Fund (ADF) countries that include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Union of Comoros, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  In implementing the project activities, SADC Secretariat has partnered with the African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Worldfish and Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).