Lake Niassa

Lake Niassa
© Helena Telkanranta / WWF-Canon Lake Niassa (also known as Lake Malawi) at sunset.

© Helena Telkanranta / WWF-Canon
Lake Niassa (also known as Lake Malawi) at sunset.

The Challenges

The biological richness of Lake Niassa occurs alongside extreme human poverty. Many of the fishing communities around the lake live well below the official poverty line and the area’s freshwater biodiversity has suffered from unsustainable fishing practices. Overfishing and the harmful practice of using mosquito nets as fishing nets have depleted resources. Having small holes, mosquito nets capture even the smallest, youngest fish. Capturing too many of these young fish before they can reproduce decreases the fish population over time. Additionally, the chemicals from the treated nets can harm water quality.