International Journal of
Fisheries and Aquaculture

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Fish. Aquac.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9839
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJFA
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 228


Revisiting the ‘three-pillared design’ of a management system for the Elephant Marsh Wetland Fishery in Malawi

Ishmael B. M. Kosamu
  • Ishmael B. M. Kosamu
  • The Polytechnic, Department of Physics and Biochemical Sciences, University of Malawi, Private Bag 303, Chichiri, Blantyre 3, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 14 September 2016
  •  Accepted: 01 March 2017
  •  Published: 31 March 2017


This paper revisits and builds on the work of Ishmael Kosamu, Wouter de Groot and Patrick Kambewa who, in 2016, proposed a management system for the Elephant Marsh Wetland Fishery in Malawi, and identified key issues that would help the fishery to be sustainable in the short to medium term. They postulated that a sustainable three-pillared (locally based, weak, and amorphous) institution for the Elephant Marsh Wetland Fishery would rest on: (i) the social reputation of the leaders of local fishery institutions (beach village committee leaders), and (ii) the power dynamics between traditional chiefs and local fishery leaders. This paper suggests additional attributes and new insights which, if included in the design that Kosamu and his colleagues proposed, could make the institution more relevant in the long term. The suggested supplementary priorities embrace both financial and legal issues in the institutional development process.


Key words: Elephant Marsh, institutions, Malawi, small-scale fisheries, sustainability, wetlands.