550 kgs of fish confiscated in Mongu

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The fisheries department in Mongu district have confiscated about kg550 (kilograms) of dry and fresh fish since the fishing ban started on 1st December 2013.

District Fisheries Officer Numel Phiri disclosed to ZANIS in Mongu that his department together with Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and the Police have conducted 15 land patrols in the district in order to control illegal selling of fish.

Mr Phiri added that five water patrols were also conducted in Kalabo district in areas around Sifuluti, Liyoyelo, Kabeti, Ndowana and Matongo among others adding that 90 fishing nets were recovered and confiscated.

He explained that although patrols are done in the early hours no arrests have been made so far as culprits get tipped by the community making it difficult for the law enforcers to apprehend them.

Meanwhile Mr Phiri told ZANIS in an interview that 90% of the people in the province depend on fish trading for their livelihood hence the reason for them to continue fishing and trading even when the fishing season is closed.

He added that sensitization on the importance of conserving fish was done in fishing camps a week before the fishing ban but traders and fishermen fail to adhere as they lack other livelihood alternatives that can help them sustain their living and that of their families.

Mr Phiri emphasized on the need for diversification to be encouraged among the fishermen and fish traders.

He disclosed that his department with the help of World Fish will conduct training to introduce and promote salted fish as a short term measure of conserving fish and add value to it.

Mr Phiri pointed out that salted fish can be stocked during the open season and sell it during the closed season (Fishing ban period) stressing that sensitization on the importance of salted fish consumption will be done in communities.

And Mr Phiri said late release of funds and lack of resources has affected the department in executing its activities effectively.

The fishing ban which began on 1st December last year comes to an end on 1st March this year.