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‘Fish ban must be observed by all’

TRADERS at Chawama Market preparing fish for their customers. Picrure: COLLINS PHIRI.

ESTHER MSETEKA – Lusaka
KAFUE Fisheries has called on Government to consider signing unilateral agreements on the fish ban to realise meaningful benefits from the aquaculture sector.
Kafue Fisheries general manager Brian Goodwin told a parliamentary committee on agriculture last week that the current situation is not helping Government’s initiative to restock the depleting fish stocks in the country.
The fish ban is aimed at allowing fish to reproduce and help reduce the fish deficit but Mr Goodwin observed that lack of unilateral agreements with countries that share water bodies with Zambia, has resulted in some countries fishing during ban.
“Having a fish ban on one side of the river and not on the other, like is the case with Zambezi River, which borders Zimbabwe and Zambia, makes it difficult to monitor growth.
“The fish ban can only have an effective impact on the sector if unilateral agreements are signed so that the countries sharing the water bodies are on the same page,” he said.
Mr Goodwin said there is need for Government to engage with countries that share water bodies with Zambia to preserve the sector.
He said agreements will enable affected countries restock their waterbodies and adhere to the fish ban at the same time.
Mr Goodwin observed that without fish regulations and adequate funding in the sector, it is difficult to monitor the activities taking place in the rivers and lakes.
He said the ban, if well managed, has the potential to contribute to the national treasury and create employment for Zambians.

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