Illegal fishing methods irk DC
Chibombo, November 27, 2014, ZANIS – Some fishermen in Keembe Settlement scheme and Muchoko Agricultural camp in Chibombo district are reportedly using potato sacks and mosquito nets to catch fish.
Chibombo District Commissioner Felix Mang’wato says the fishermen are using the illegal fishing methods even in the water bodies like Mutemba dam and Lukanga Swamps which government had recently stocked with fingerlings.
In an interview with ZANIS, Mr Mang’wato said government had spent colossal amounts of money on fish the restocking exercise in the area in an effort to enhance fish stocks and keep up with the rising demand for the catch in the district.
He said this effort was however being frustrated by the fishermen who are using destructive fishing methods in the water bodies which were recently stocked with fingerlings.
Mr Mang’wato has since directed the department of fisheries in the district to immediately intensify patrols in the affected areas to arrest the situation.
He said the illegal fishing methods being practiced have the potential to wipe out the fish stocks in the water bodies hence the need to urgently stop the practice.
And acting Chibombo District Fisheries Officer Marien Kapasa told ZANIS that the department has since dispatched fisheries officers to the affected areas to stop the use of destructive fishing methods.
She said the officers have even confiscated a number of potato sacks and mosquito nets from some fishermen.
Ms Kapasa further said that the department had also intensified community awareness campaigns through the village fishing committees on the dangers of using destructive fishing gear.
She said the use of potato sacks, mosquito nets and other illegal fishing methods threaten the survival of the fish and consequently the fishing industry.
Meanwhile, the fisheries officers deployed to curb illegal fishing methods in some agricultural camps in the district are facing resistance from some fishermen.
Ms Kapasa said the fishermen are even threatening to beat up the officers who are in the camps to work adding that the department intends to engage the police in the exercise to stop the scourge.