Fishing methods are apparently becoming more extreme and a fisherman has died in an accidental explosion.
The North-Western Province’s Commissioner of Police, Auxensio Daka, said Tebby Kafwebu (36) was fishing in Lunga River in Kasempa district.
“The victim died after the explosive he was using to fish accidentally went off and killed him instantly,” Daka said.
According to locals, the use of explosives to kill or stun fish is common in the area. They claim the use of explosives to fish is a traditional technique which has been used for generations.
Queried on the environmental devastation the explosives caused, locals expressed ignorance.
“Explosives are easily and cheaply purchased,” said a resident who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Stakeholders, including conservationists, have consistently called for tougher legislation on destructive fishing methods and violations of annual fishing bans instituted to help replenish declining fish stock.
A recent WWF report estimates destructive fishing methods represent more than 40% of fish catches. In many cases, the fish caught are fingerlings, creating dire consequences for sustainable marine life.
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