Depleting fish stocks in Luapula worry govt.
Nchelenge, June 17th, 2014, ZANIS — Government has bemoaned the declining fish catches on the Mweru-Luapula Fishery in Luapula Province.
Nchelenge District Commissioner (DC) acting Bennie Mwansa says government is deeply concerned with Depleting fish stocks due to over-fishing and the use of illegal fishing gears on the natural fishery.
Mr. Mwansa said the government will soon take strong measures to secure the gazetted fish breeding areas of the Mweru-Luapula Fishery to harness the free fall of the fish catches in Nchelenge District of Luapula Province.
He said in an effort to redress the situation the government through the department of fisheries will restock the Mweru-Luapula Fishery with red breasted and green headed breams that are high yielding.
The District Commissioner Mr. Mwansa was speaking when he officiated at this year’s District Agricultural and Commercial Show which was held at the Farmers Training Centre (FTC) in Nchelenge, yesterday.
However, he said there is need for concerted efforts by all the stakeholders to reverse the free falling trends of the fish stocks and urged for the involvement of the traditional leaders and other agencies in the fishing industry.
He also urged the fishers to diversify to other activities such as beekeeping, cultivation of various crops and fish farming to lessen the pressure on the natural fishery.
And Mr. Mwansa has called for the change of the mindset among the small scale farmers in Nchelenge District of Luapula Province and the country as a whole.
The acting DC said the Patriotic Front government manifesto encourages the farmers to shift from the maize cultivation to diversification to ensure household income and food security.
He noted that crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes, bulrush, finger millet and paddy rice among others are cost effective and cheap to grow.
He said the government is making progressive measures in the agriculture sector such as the provision of the subsidized inputs through the Farmer Inputs Support Programme (FISP) as a way of empowering farmers.
He also said the government is striving to revamp the livestock sector through effective livestock disease fight and control.
Mr. Mwansa assured the farmers that the government will continue with the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) during the 2014/2015 farming season and that through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) it will buy all the maize from the small scale farmers.