fish farming

Harsher punishment asked for violators of fishing ban

The Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia (WECSZ) has called for stiff punishment for people violating the annual fishing ban.

The organization also urged government to impose a limit on commercial fishing.

This after several reports of violations of the ban.

“We all have a stake in it and (fishing) has direct benefits, but many people need to be disabused of the idea that fish is a limitless resource.

Imposing stiff punishment on people who think (fishing) is a right, is one solution,” says WECSZ in its weekly report.

The report also calls for increased sensitisation of people living near lakes and rivers on the importance of the ban.

The report alleges commercial fishing was responsible for the “overexploitation” of fish, leading to further diminishment of stock.

“Commercial fishing companies are the ones who are overfishing, and government must impose a limit on the amounts they can fish,” says the report.

Meanwhile, police in Luapula have confirmed the confiscation of hundreds of kilogrammes of fish from people suspected to be in violation of the fishing ban.

INSUFFICIENT BANS

Last week, Luapula provincial minister Nickson Chilangwa called for an extended year-long fishing ban as the only way to replenish already depleted stock levels.

The minister said the three-month long ban was insufficient and failed to address historical overfishing.

Lake Bangweulu, Mweru-wa-ntipa, Mweru-Luapula, Lukanga Swamps, Lusuwashi, Lower Zambezi and Chambeshi are closed for fishing from December 1 to the beginning of March. Lake Kariba and Lake Tanganyika are excluded.

The annual ban is imposed to avoid fishing during breeding season and ensure sustainable stock levels.

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