We are keen to ensure open access to the archival and published material that we have gathered for this project. Please see the links below to access a range of important and insightful historical material that can be used for diverse research and teaching purposes.

Fisheries Surveys, 1939-1955

Access to the three fisheries surveys conducted in Lake Malawi during the colonial period.

As well as offering an critical resource for understanding the driving principles and ideas that continued to inform and influence fisheries policy in Lake Malawi long after independence, these surveys also offer significant insights into the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the fishing industry while also offering important insights into the natural history of the lake.

Annual Reports of Department of Game, Fish, and Tsetse Control, 1949-1963

Download the annual reports of the Department of Game, Fish, and Tsetse Control between 1949 and 1963. The Department was responsible for (i) game and vermin control; (ii) fisheries development; and (iii) defensive and offensive action against the tsetse fly within the boundaries of the Nyasaland Protectorate.

While we have utilised these reports to analyse the programme of fisheries development schemes and statistical gathering that the Department led, these reports offer detailed and important insights into diverse attempts by the colonial government to control and alter both terrestrial and marine environments in the region.

We have also transcribed the fisheries-related data from these reports, which are available as a downloadable excel file. This includes data surrounding yields, catch per unit effort, and hauls per gear as compiled surrounding African and non-African fisheries between 1949 and 1962.

Fisheries Regulations

Download key fisheries-related regulations surrounding Lake Malawi that were legislated during the colonial and Independence era between 1926 and 2016.

This legislation speaks to the main legal and regulatory principles driving fisheries governance in the lake over the long-term.

Commission of Inquiry into the Fishing Industry (1956)

Access the rich collection of material from the Commission of Inquiry into the Fishing Industry (1956). This includes the final report and, more interestingly, the transcripts of four meetings (and one preliminary organising meeting) at which the members of the Commission heard evidence from a diverse array of stakeholders in Nyasaland’s fishing industry.

These pages of transcribed testimony will be a rich resource for anyone interested in fishing in colonial Malawi. They will also provide broader insight into late colonial Southern Africa’s society, politics, and economy.