With 20% of Malawi’s surface area (118,484 sq. km) covered by water, the fisheries sector contributes significantly to food and nutritional security, livelihoods of the rural population and economic growth of the country.  Currently, over 60,000 people are directly involved in fishing mainly for commercial purposes while nearly 15,000 farmers practice fish framing at various levels across the country mainly for cash earnings and consumption. Along the value chain, over 500,000 people including women derive their livelihoods from fish processing, fish marketing, boat building, engine repair and fishing input supplies. Additionally, fish contributes over 60% of animal protein to the national diet of Malawians and 4% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. 
In 2019, fish production from Lakes Malawi, Malombe, Chilwa and Chiuta as well Shire River was estimated at 129,587 tonnes while aquaculture production was estimated at 8,054 tonnes.


The Department of Fisheries is mandated, under the Fisheries Act to ensure that the exploitation of Malawi’s fish stocks does not lead to resource depletion or extinction but to sustainable utilization of the fish resource for the benefit of the present and future generations.

A dynamic, high Performance, consultative and client-focused Department


The mission statement of the Department of Fisheries is to promote sustainable fisheries production and development by providing conducive framework conditions and excellent services in order to achieve food and nutrition security, poverty reduction and economic growth.

  • The purpose of the Department of Fisheries is to plan, manage and develop the fisheries industry in Malawi.
  • To achieve the purpose, the functions of the Department are as follows:
  • To conduct fisheries extension and training services.
  • To plan and develop fisheries projects, programmes and activities.
  • To carry out research programmes in both capture fisheries and aquaculture.
  • To provide general administrative and support services. Fore more Information www.malawi.gov.mw/fisheries