Illegal fishing depletes rivers in Zambezi - Chief Liswani III
WINDHOEK - Chief of the Masubia tribe Kisco Liswani III is concerned about the escalation in the number of fishermen from neighbouring Zambia who overfish using unsustainable fishing methods involving prohibited nets in Namibian waters.
Chief Liswani III is in Windhoek where he is attending the annual conference of senior traditional chiefs and their councillors where they had a meeting with President Hage Geingob to discuss a raft of pertinent issues that chiefs have to deal with on a daily basis.
The Masubia traditional leader lamented the fact that despite his authority having briefed fisheries and marine resources officials at Katima Mulilo about the unsustainable fishing methods being used by illegal fishermen at Manyonga Lake at Malindi, on the fish-rich belt covering inland lakes and water bodies at Luhonono, Namiyundu, Nankutwe, Muzii and the surrounding areas, the situation persists.
“They use environmentally unsound and unsustainable methods to catch fish and this in turn has significantly depleted our fish stocks and led to fish scarcity,” said the chief.
He said the overfishing, coupled with unsustainable fishing methods using an infamous net called a ‘satanic net’ and fishing spears with multiple barbed heads, has led to the decline of fish on a scale never witnessed before and this has deprived his subjects of a cheap source of nutrition which is mainly freshwater bream.
Liswani III appealed to the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernhardt Esau, to as a matter of urgency deploy patrol fisheries inspectors to frequently patrol the Namibian side of the Zambezi and Chobe rivers and to conduct patrols at lakes dotting Malindi up to Muzii to arrest the depreciating fish stocks.
Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu previously spoke out strongly against overfishing in Zambezi, saying: “Fish and fisheries are an integral part of the culture and economy of many people in the Zambezi Region. The inland fisheries resources are under severe pressure from commercially minded individuals who exploit the resources for financial benefit to the detriment of the local communities who depend on fish for their survival.”
Liswani III also supported the sentiments of President Geingob who said he will consider deploying Namibian Defence Force (NDF) troops to help reinforce the police that seem overwhelmed by the increase in robberies, murders, thefts and incidents of gender-based violence.
The chief spoke out strongly against the increase in cases of stock theft also involving cross-border criminals from Zambia who take advantage of the country’s seemingly porous borders to steal livestock with impunity.
He said NDF soldiers could be used to curtail cross-border crime and they should not only be confined to their army barracks as they could also be used productively.
Liswani III said almost on a weekly basis his indunas are informed about cases of cattle theft.
2018-09-14 09:13:09 8 months ago