Authored by Brad Czerniak

This paper highlights lessons from a study that was conducted along Lake Malawi from January to March 2014. The study aimed at building climate change resilience in the Malawi's fisheries sector. Collection of data was guided by the framework called Climate change impact pathways to fisheries and aquaculture systems . Several lessons on vulnerabilities, impacts, responses and measures were drawn from the study. The perceptions of the fishing communities on vulnerabilities in relation to climate change included floods, drought, heavy winds that cause accidents, diseases, locusts and earthquakes in that order. The disasters had negative impacts on the livelihood of the communities some of which include food insecurity, loss of fishing assets, failure to service loans, increased fishing time, high variable fish prices, flood victims becoming homeless and increased vulnerability to HIV/AIDS pandemic. Capacity at various levels was found to be either weak or lacking. Response to disasters caused by climate change related issues like floods was different based on gender, localities and fishing grounds. Recommended measures to enhance the community's resilience were as follows: rehabilitating degraded habitats and restoring declined fish stocks especially chambo, promoting energy saving post-harvest fish processing technologies, promoting value addition, and developing small-scale offshore deep water fishing technologies. Others were promoting alternative income generating activities such as irrigation farming and improving access to credit facilities especially for the women for sustainable livelihoods. Finally, climate change adaptation issues need to be mainstreamed within the fisheries sector which is usually paid less attention by policy makers.