Africa's third largest lake has long been a source of food and a transportation route for the people of both Malawi and Tanzania.
Malawi claims the whole lake belongs to it, but Tanzania says it has territorial rights, too.
Dodoma has been pressing its claims hard ever since companies began exploring for gas and oil under the lakebed.
Caught in the middle of the dispute are the fishermen who do not want to lose access to any of their fishing ground.
Both nations have agreed to return to the negotiating table to try to resolve their differences.
Previous talks have failed and fishing communities fear their way of life will be disrupted.
Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi.