ZAMBIA is lobbying other neighbouring countries to sign the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) protocol on fisheries, to enforce uniform annual fishing ban on shared waters during breeding periods.
Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Minister Luxon Kazabu said in an interview that unlike Zambia, countries that have not signed the SADC protocol on fisheries encourage fishing all-year round, thereby undermining the fish breeding season from December to March.
He said this was not sustainable because aquatic life in the natural water bodies was at risk of diminishing.
“We have joined in calling on some of our neighbouring countries to sign the SADC protocol on fisheries so that there is a legally binding policy that does not allow people to fish during the breeding season,” Mr Kazabu said.
Recently, fish mongers in Mwandi District of Western Province appealed to Government to review the fish ban in areas where water was shared with neighbouring countries which have no similar bans.
But Mr Kazabu said the yearly ban during the fish breeding season between December and March would continue.
“We have merely put in place a law which provides a period within which fishing is done and also when the fish should be allowed to breed,” he said.
Mr Kazabu urged affected fish traders in areas such as Mwandi to abide by the regulation as it was sustainable for the development of the aquaculture sector.
Apart from Zambia, the Zambezi River Basin is shared among seven other countries namely; Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Times of Z