The Fisheries Department in Mkushi District has bemoaned the use of illegal fishing practices in several parts of Mkushi and Luano districts.
Mkushi District Fisheries Officer, Malton Moyo, stated this during his visit to Chief Chikupili at Chikupili Palace.
Mr Moyo said his department was aware that the use of illegal fishing methods had escalated during the course of this year.
He elaborated that there had been reports pertaining the use of outlawed methods such as the use of chemicals as well as mosquito nets in various locations, adding that termec was the most widespread chemical used.
He said in view of this situation, the Fisheries Department had singled out traditional authorities as being pivotal to the efforts involved in sensitizing communities about illegal fishing methods.
Mr Moyo said community sensitisation had been identified as being amongst the key strategies that the department aimed at employing in the coming year.
He said in this regard, his department had deemed it prudent to strengthen the liaison with traditional leaders, adding that chiefs held very influential status in communities.
Meanwhile, Chief Chikupili thanked the Fisheries Department for expressing willingness to partner with traditional leaders in upholding and enforcing good fishing methods.
Chief Chikupili cited Mita Hill Dam as being amongst the water sources that were constantly linked to bad fishing methods by fishermen in his Chiefdom, saying the situation could not be allowed to continue.
He also appealed to the department to help in facilitating a fish ban committee in his Chiefdom.
The chief explained that such a move would help in consolidating the efforts to sensitise and promote good fishing methods at community level.
Other reports involving illegal fishing methods have occurred in Chief Chembe’s in Luano district, where Mwalala Ward Councillor, Benford Katit,i disclosed that termec was being used in the Mulungushi river.
The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has since pledged to follow up the matter involving the use of chemicals in that river.