Reconciling livelihoods and aquatic ecosystem resilience in the lakes of Malawi (Editiorial)

Lakes Malawi, Malombe and Chilwa produce almost all the fish consumed in Malawi. The ecologies of these lakes are very different. These differences present significant challenges in implementing policies and management strategies that can sustain the livelihoods of people dependent on these lakes. Increasing fisheries exploitation, land transformation, irrigation and climate all threaten the flow of benefits from these remarkable water bodies. The failure of conventional fisheries management approaches to adequately incorporate the wider socio-economic and ecological systems in which the lakes are embedded has led to loss of livelihoods for fishing communities, declining national nutritional security, fisheries collapse, changes in species composition and conflicts between fishers and fisheries managers. These failures have underscored the need for more effective lake management approaches that will sustain those aquatic ecosystem goods and services which support the livelihoods for many thousands of people in the country and also sustain key national economic activities.


Jamu, D., Andrew, N., Bootsma, H., Hecky, R. (2011)
Journal of Great Lakes Research 37(S1): 1-2