Home / Aquaculture / A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF HOOK AND LINE FISHERIES, CAPE MACLEAR PENINSULA, REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, CENTRAL AFRICA

A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF HOOK AND LINE FISHERIES, CAPE MACLEAR PENINSULA, REPUBLIC OF MALAWI, CENTRAL AFRICA

By: Dr Vaitheeswaran Thiruvengadam Lecturer 1 Department of Aquaculture DMI St. John the aptist University  Mangochi Campus Republic of Malawi Central Africa

Introduction

The name Cape Maclear was given by Dr. David Livingstone in dedication to his friend an Astronomer, Sir Thomas Maclear in 1861 who was Her Majesty’s Astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope. In October 1875 a new mission, Livingstonia, was set up by a group of members of the Free Church of Scotland. Before the missionaries arrived, the area was controlled by the Yao Muslim people. These were actively involved in slave trade which the missionaries fought for its end with the introduction of Christianity. By 1881 Cape Maclear had proved to be extremely malarial area and the mission moved north to Bandawe. Lake Malawi area has proved unhealthy and the Livingstonia Mission had moved once again to the higher grounds between Lake Malawi and Nyika Plateau. In 1980 Cape Maclear islands, forests and bay were declared a protected area, creating the Lake Malawi National Park. The first freshwater national park in the World. The park which covers some 94 km2, was composed of the Cape Maclear peninsula, three other disjunction mainland areas, 12 islands and lake waters that lie within 100 m of the park’s terrestrial components. Total water area is estimated as 7 km2. Lake surface elevation is near 475m, while the highest point on the peninsula is 1,140m. It is the only national park in Malawi that was created to protect fish and aquatic habitats (Anon, 2018). According to (Fryer and Iles, 1972; Salzburger, 2009) has revealed that the cichlid fish species roughly 1000 numbers, have compared with approximately 140 in the North American Great Lakes by (Scott and Crossman 1973). Lake Malawi cichlids have into two main clades: rock-dwellers (mbuna) and sand dwellers. Tropical Lake Malawi is the southernmost of the East African Rift Valley lakes. The total surface area of the lake is about 29,600 square kilometers, 365 miles north to the south and 52 miles broad (hence nicknamed “the calendar lake”). At its deepest point, at a place called Usisya in the north, at a depth of 700 m. It is a popular hot location with the cleanest beaches on Lake Malawi with its deep and crystal waters that boast a beautiful fish sanctuary and a delight to divers. The water is high transparency and low nutrient concentration in the upper layer (Bootsma and Hecky, 2003), the lake was considered oligotrophic. Seventy percent of Lake Malawi coastline consists, generally, of sloping sandy beaches, vegetated areas and swamp. The remaining coastline is composed of steep rocky shores. It is a popular hot location with the cleanest beaches on Lake Malawi with its deep and crystal waters that boast a beautiful fish sanctuary and a delight to divers. This is also where the first freshwater national park and a world heritage site, Lake Malawi National Park.

Study Site

The present investigation was made on nearshore sites in and around Cape Maclear on the northwestern part of the Nankumba Peninsula, Lake Malawi (part of Lake Malawi National Park). The first sampling site, Otter Point (14° 01’ 19.36’S 34° 49’ 24.79’E and 14° 01’ 27.31’S  34° 49’ 26.31’E) is exposed to wind and wave action and exhibited a rock–sand transition at a depth of 10 – 15 m. The data were collected from a proportionate sample of fishermen (Fig 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). The selected practices viz., Line hauler, Usage of ecofriendly hook (relevant hook size), Size of the hook numbers 9 and 10, Adoption of advanced hook type (other than ‘J’ type hook), Adoption of monofilament, correct float material. The artisanal fishery about seventy-five percentage of Lake Malawi catch from Malawian waters the fishery operating from villages spread along the lakeshore. The five basic types of fishing gears viz. beach seine nets, open-water seine nets, gillnets, hooks and traps.

Fig 1. Fishermen at Cape Maclear Island

Fig 2. Clarias gariepinus (Mlamba) (Capture: Size of the hook number 10)

Fig 3. Usage of ecofriendly hook (relevant hook size) size of the hook numbers 9

Fig 4. Usage of ecofriendly hook (relevant hook size) size of the hook number 10

Fig 5. Overview map of the Cape Maclear on the North-Western part of the Nankumba Peninsula, Lake Malawi (part of Lake Malawi National Park). The first sampling site, Otter Point (14° 01’ 19.36’S 34° 49’ 24.79’E and 14° 01’ 27.31’S 34° 49’ 26.31’E)

 

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