Government has expressed satisfaction with the local fishermen’s adherence to the 2014/2015 fish ban which is currently in force.
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Principal Fisheries Research Officer Mbamwai Mbewe said fishermen have this time around followed the stringent measures government has put in place during the fish ban period.
Mr. Mbewe, who is also Smart Fish-Zambia Focal-person, said government and the Zambian people will benefit from the fish ban hence the need to respect it.
The Smart Fish-Zambia is project which seeks to implement and scale up regional fisheries strategies for the Eastern-Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) region.
It further aims at contributing to an increased level of social, economic and environmental development and deeper regional integration in the ESA-IO through improved capacities for the sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources.
Mr. Mbewe told ZANIS in Lusaka today that the fish ban is enforced to restrict fishing activities in the fisheries areas to allow the fish to breed and to protect the commercially preferred species mostly tilapia.
He disclosed that the operations to check on compliance in the fisheries areas are conducted by a combined team of Zambia Police and Fisheries Officers.
And Mr. Mbewe has observed that some fishermen and women were employing bad fishing methods through the use of mosquito nets, potato bags and shading net materials in Central, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern and Western provinces.
He said these methods have negatively impacted on the fish stocks in water expanses in the country.
Every year, government through the Department of Fisheries enforces a three-month long fish ban from December to February which basically aims at promoting sustainable utilisation of fisheries resources in Zambia under the fisheries Act, cap 200 of 2011 of the Laws of Zambia.
Zambia has got nine major fisheries areas namely Lake Kariba, Tanganyika, Itezhi-tezhi, Bangweulu, Mweru Luapula, Mweru wantipa, Kafue River, Zambezi River and Lukanga Swamps.
Minor fisheries areas include Lusiwashi dam, Lower Zambezi and Chambeshi River.
All these fisheries cumulatively have more than 400 fish species.