Communities which depend on fishing for their livelihood should be engaged in other economic activities if the fish ban is to be effectively implemented, says Aquaculture Development Association of Zambia (ADAZ) chairperson Fisho Mwale.
Mr Mwale said in an interview that communities surviving on fishing did not comply with a fish ban because they were not involved in other economic activities.
“Sometimes it is very difficult to ensure compliance from someone dying of hunger; so how do you mitigate that?
“We think that compliance to the fish ban must extend to furthering the economic activities of those engaged in fishing so that at the time that there are not supposed to engage in fishing, they have other economic activities to depend on for their survival,” he said.
He said ADAZ was of the view that the current fish ban methodology had not been effective because Zambia was still experiencing depleted fishing stocks.
“We feel a lot need to be done in order to specifically determine as to which fish stocks need to thrive during the breeding period.
“We think that currently the methodology used has not been effective because we are still experiencing depleted fish stocks, so there still is something wrong,” he said.
Mr Mwale said the fish ban should be implemented during the breeding season which was between December and February.
He said as a result, there was need to educate the communities on the importance of the fish ban.
“Without breeding it means you will not have any fish and there are many factors which impact on the effectiveness of breeding sometimes, as seen in certain parts of the country.
“People resort to eating fingerlings, meaning fish is not growing. There has to be concerted efforts in area of protection for breeding,” he said.
Mr Mwale also said there was need for a programmatic approach to breeding to increase fish stocks in Zambia.
“There has to be a well-articulated and programmatic approach to our breeding process, whether be it in the natural waters or fish ponds to have increased fish stocks,” he said.