Fishing (in) the Past to Inform the Future: Lessons from Lake Malawi and Mbenji Island

Explore the history of fisheries management in Lake Malawi and what lessons this can teach for sustainable fishing futures in Malawi and beyond.

UK time 11:00 – 12:30 Malawi time 12:00 – 13:30
Location Edinburgh City Chambers and on Zoom

The “Lessons from Lake Malawi” project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from Mzuzu University and the University of Strathclyde.

Focusing on Lake Malawi, this project explored the different development, principles, and legacies of two fisheries management regimes that emerged in the mid-twentieth century. The first was instituted by the British colonial government and centred on the dominant principles of fisheries science that were evolving at the time. The second was developed under the tutelage of Chief Makanjira, founded on place-based knowledge of breeding seasons and community-centred enforcement principles.

The event featured short presentations by different project members from Mzuzu University and the University of Strathclyde covering distinctive aspects of the project: archival research, oral histories, environmental sampling, and fisheries analysis.

The team presented their key findings and the recommendations that can be drawn from these that can be used to inform the future of sustainable fisheries management in Lake Malawi and beyond.

Project website: https://www.lessonsfromlakemalawi.com/


Mzuzu University (Malawi):

Dr Elias Chirwa is Senior Lecturer in Fisheries and Aquatic Science in the Faculty of Environmental Science with expertise in fisheries management and aquatic ecology.

Prof Bryson Nkhoma is Professor of Environmental and Agricultural History as well as Head of History and Heritage Studies with expertise in precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial interventions related to agriculture, irrigation, food security, and Indigenous knowledge.

University of Strathclyde (Scotland):

Dr Charles Knapp is Reader in Environmental Science and a water-quality environmental scientist with expertise in ecology and genetic analyses to explain trends in a historical context.

Prof Tracy Morse is Professor of Environmental Health who was previously based in Malawi for 20 years where she led an interdisciplinary team addressing the determinants of health.

Dr David Wilson is Lecturer in History, Principal Investigator of the “Lessons of Lake Malawi” project, and Co-Investigator with One Ocean Hub; his expertise focuses on histories of colonialism, law, fisheries science, and marine governance.

Lessons from the Lake 2

Lessons from Lake Malawi Agenda.

Lessons from Lake Malawi and Mbenji Island pamphlet.

Live recorded video is available here.

Fishing (in) the Past ​to Inform the Future: ​Lessons from Lake Malawi ​and Mbenji Island Presentation.

Zoom Chat log is available here.