18 Fish mongers nabbed for illegal fishing

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About 18 fishermen have been arrested after being found with 674 kg of fish by the Fisheries department in Kalabo and Mongu districts in Western Province.

Western Province Acting Principal Fisheries Officer Gethings Chisule confirmed the development to ZANIS in Mongu.

He said the incident happened in a joint operation with the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in Nebubela, Gabon, Matongo, Liyoyelo and Ikatulamwa along the Zambezi River.

Mr Chisule disclosed that 473kgs of dry fish and 60kgs of fresh fish were confiscated from 11 fishermen in Mongu district while 76kgs of dry and 65kgs of fresh fish were confiscated in Kalabo district in separate incidences during the first week of February, 2015.

He further added that six bicycles were also confiscated in the process in Mongu district while 68 fish gears made from mosquito nets weighing 2,700kgs were also recovered in Kalabo district.

Mr Chisule added that the 11 suspects who were in police custody in Mongu district have since been released on Police Bond while the seven suspects arrested in Kalabo district have been fined K600 each by the Kalabo Magistrate Court.

The Acting Principal Fisheries Officer has since appealed to the community to comply with the authority as the fish ban will soon be lifted and requested the community to stop buying fish from illegal sellers.

The fish ban was effected on the 1st of December, 2014 to allow the fish to breed and will be lifted on 1st March, 2015.