Fish stocks in Western province threatened
Mongo, March 29th, 2014, ZANIS —- Fishmongers in Western Province have been urged to reduce on the use of destructive methods of fishing in the Zambezi Floods Plain.
Western Province Permanent Secretary Augustine Seyuba advised Fishers to desist from using destructive fishing methods so that the fish stock in the Zambezi Flood Plain does not reduce.
Mr. Seyuba said there is an urgent need for all stakeholders in the fishing industry to take active action in the management of fish in the plain.
He added that if no urgent action is taken the fish population will continue decreasing as the case was with Luapula River in Luapula province.
The Permanent Secretary said this during a Fish management workshop which was organized 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.
He said as such poor management, increasing fishing pressure and use of destructive fishing gears would cause rapid decline of fish stocks.
‘’ I am advising Policy –makers, decision-makers donors, Local leaders, NGOS and community-based organizations 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,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Speaking earlier, Project Coordinator for Namibia Nature Foundation and European Union Fisheries Conservation Dennis Twiddle said there is 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.
He added that this net is highly destructive to fish stocks because fish of all sizes are caught, with the inclusion of crocodiles, Birds and Hippos among other water clippers.
And Provincial Fisheries Officer Alex Chilala said Fish is the major source of income for Western Province saying the Province is not known by Rice production but by the production of fish thus the need to look after it properly in the area.
Mr.Chilala further said that fish population is depleting at a faster rate saying something and quickly should be done and with urgency if the fish species are to be sustained.
He said there is need to find lasting solution to bad fishing management for the sustainability of fish in the area.
“We need to find sustainable solution in the management of the resources for the future generation,” he said.
However, the Barotse Royal Establishment Indunas have accused the Fisheries Department of not taking active role in the enforcement and the management of fish in the district.
Speaking on behalf of other Indunas Imandi noted that during fish ban fishers continue fishing and see plenty of fish in the market for selling while Fisheries Officers stand at akimbo at the situation.
He demanded for the restoration of the powers in the hands of traditional Leaders in the management of the fish as it was before independence saying that 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.