Botswana authorities are detaining several Zambian fish dealers for allegedly violating the country’s fish ban, says the Zambian High Commission.
Botswana imposed a 12 month fishing ban which came into effect in March 2017. Environment, Natural Resources and Conservation Minister Tshekedi Khama said the decision was motivated by the continued spate of overfishing which gives foreign traders an unfair advantage over the locals.
Zambian High commissioner to Botswana, Brigadier General Patrick Tembo, said they are engaging with the authorities in Botswana to find an amicable solution.
“We have assessed the situation that unfortunately affected several of our nationals trading in dry fish, and we are in talks with relevant authorities here to ensure a satisfactory outcome for all parties,” said Tembo.
The fishing restriction has already received mixed reaction, with most locals criticising it. They say it will adversely affect their livelihoods since they depend on fishing as their source of income.
Sources at the Zambia-Botswana border told Africancaming.com at least 15 trucks and 27 Zambian nationals are being detained.
According to them, authorities are alleging that foreign traders are hoarding and fixing prices for dry fish, which puts local fish dealers at a disadvantage.
It is also alleged that some local license holders are selling their permits to foreign dealers.