The FISH project in Malawi
The Fisheries Integration of Society and Habitats (FISH) project is increasing social, ecological and economic resilience to climate change and improving biodiversity conservation through sustainable fisheries co-management. The project's Pact-led consortium is enabling communities and local government to protect four of Malawi’s main lakes, which contribute significantly to the health of the country and its people.
Funded by USAID, FISH takes an integrated ecosystems approach. This approach is showing results, as made evident by ongoing biological surveys that measure the impact the project is having on fish richness (number of species), abundance (number of fish), and diversity (index of ratios of fish species and abundance). Since 2016, fish sanctuaries managed by FISH-supported local fisheries management authorities, such as Beach Village Committees, have seen an average increase in species of 64% and an increase in the diversity index of 22% (December 2016 to September 2018). The presence of endangered species in the samples has also continued to increase. Additionally, the sanctuaries had on average 50% more species compared to similar areas sampled as controls, and almost all of the sanctuaries in the assessment had higher diversity than control areas.