Fisheries urges respect for fish ban
Nchelenge,24 November,2014, ZANIS…Fisheries authorities in Nchelenge district have urged the fishing community in the area to respect the annual fish ban effective December 1.
The District Fisheries Research Officer Masiliso Phiri in an interview with ZANIS today said the Mweru-Luapula Fishery will be traditionally closed from all fishing activities with effect from 1st December, 2014.
Ms. Phiri has since advised the members of the general public, fishermen and fish traders to ensure that their current catch reaches the intended destinations before December 1.
Ms. Phiri said ordinarily the fish ban would run from 1st December, 2014 to February 28, 2015 during which no fishing activities including transportation will be allowed.
She said the fisheries Act Cap 200 0f 2011 provides for the closure of designated natural fisheries such as the Mweru-Luapula Fishery to allow the fish to breed and that people must respect the ban because it was for their own good.
Ms. Phiri further said no certificate of origin for the fish and the grace period for the transportation would be given once the ban comes into effect.
Ms. Phiri has since challenged the fishing community of Nchelenge to play a leading role in the enforcement of the pending fish ban adding that this was crucial in achieving the sustainable management of the fisheries and stocks in the water bodies.
She argued that meaningful and sustainable management of the fish resource could only be realized through a participatory approach where the stakeholders are fully involved.
She observed that the government and its collaborating partners had continued doing a commendable job to harness the fast dwindling fish stocks on the Mweru-Luapula Fishery.
However, Ms. Phiri noted that the good intentions by the government and its allies have been defiled by the uncompromising fishing community that keeps daring the law.
And Ms. Phiri has expressed worry that inadequate financial resource may adversely affect the enforcement of the forthcoming fishing ban.
She said in the past the government in partnership with the Programme for Luapula Agricultural and Rural Development (PLARD) had been sustaining the fishing ban budget.
However, Ms. Phiri is concerned that neither the government nor the PLARD has made any commitments towards this year’s operational budget for the annual ban.
She has since appealed to the government and its partners to make their intent known to allow her office prepare adequately for the commencement of the ban.