Fishmongers Told to Ditch Harmful Methods

FISHERMEN in Western Province have been urged to reduce on the use of destructive fishing methods in the Zambezi Flood Plains.

Western Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba aised Fishermen to desist from using destructive fishing methods so that the fish stock in the Zambezi Flood Plains does not reduce.

Mr Seyuba said if no urgent action was taken the fish population would continue decreasing as the case was with Luapula River in Luapula Province.

The Permanent Secretary said this during a fish management workshop which was organised by the World Fish European Union from Namibia and held at provincial administration hall yesterday.

He said about 70,000 people depend on the resources of the plain for their livelihoods, food nutrition and security adding that increasing fishing pressure and use of destructive fishing methods would cause decline of fish stocks.

“I am aising policy-makers, donors, local leaders, NGOS and community-based organisations to take immediate action to ensure that current fisheries regulations are implemented effectively to reverse the serious decline in the economic health of the Barotse fisheries,” Mr Seyuba said.

Speaking earlier, project coordinator for Namibia Nature Foundation and European Union Fisheries Conservation Dennis Twiddle said there was need for Zambia and Namibia to promote trans-border management of the natural resource.

Mr Tweddle noted that some fish species in the Zambezi are depleting due to fishmongers using illegal fishing methods such as monofilaments popularly called Sefa Sefa which is highly destructive to fish stocks.

And Provincial Fisheries Officer Alex Chilala said fish is the major source of income for Western Province saying the province is not known for rice production but for fish thus the need to look after it properly.

Mr Chilala further said that fish population is depleting at a faster rate saying something and quickly should be done if the fish species are to be sustained.

However, the Barotse Royal Establishment Indunas have accused the Fisheries Department of not taking active role in the enforcement and the management of fish.

Speaking on behalf of other Indunas Imandi noted that during fish ban people continue fishing and see plenty of fish in the market for selling while Fisheries Officers watch.

He demanded for the restoration of the powers to traditional leaders in the management of fish like it was before independence and that it would be the best way of ensuring protection of fish in the area.

The workshop was attended by people from the Department of Fisheries, media, NGOS, traditional leaders and World Fish European Union Representatives from both Namibian and Zambian side.-ZANIS

Source : The Times of Zambia

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