Government has called on the fisheries department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to come up with well researched information on how Luapula province could restock its depleted fish stocks in the water bodies of the province.
Agriculture and Livestock Deputy Minister Rodgers Mwewa made the call when he launched a research water vessel named lukunka on Lake Bangweulu in Samfya district of Luapula province on Monday this week.
He said fish stocks were depleted in all the water bodies of the province and there was an urgent need to come up with well researched information that Government could use to restock the fish stocks in the water bodies.
He said the water research vessel was a demonstration of the Government’s determination to promote efforts of fish restocking in the province and urging the technocrats to use the equipment properly in order to find solutions to the challenges of restocking fish in the province.
Mr Mwewa said Government was also exploring various means to restore the fish stocks through the introduction of fish stock management programmes such as restocking and cage culture in places where fish stocks have been depleted.
He said there was need to generate accurate information on fisheries resources which could assist in developing management strategies and plans which should include fish stock assessment, fish disease surveillance, fish gear technology, fish processing and fish biodiversity studies.
He said development of aquaculture was critical to the development of the fisheries sector in the country.
And Luapula province Permanent secretary, Mbololwa Muyaba called for effective management and monitoring of fishing activities by the fisheries department.
She said the fisheries department should play a major role in generating credible information for informed decision making and ensuring appropriate technology development and transfer for sustainable, efficient and effective exploitation of fisheries resources in the province.
She said the low staffing levels in the fisheries department should be addressed as a matter of urgency in order for government to realise the full benefits of the investment and services of the department.
The launch was attended by Ngumbo Chiefs; Senior chief Mwewa, Chief Mwansakombe, Chief Kasomalunga, Chief Nsamba, Chief Chitembo and Chieftainess Mulongwe.
Ministry of Agricuture and Livestock Permanent Secretary David Shamulenge led a team of his senior officials from his ministry who were also in attendance.