GOVERNMENT says the Mweru-Luapula Fishery in Luapula Province directly employees 30, 000 fishers and support about 250, 000 people in fish trading on the Zambian side alone.

Nchelenge District Commissioner (DC) Royd Chakaba said the Mweru-Luapula Fishery is socially and economically significant to the country’s economy.

Mr. Chakaba said the area has been a steady source of revenue, employment and fish protein to the Zambian people.

The DC was speaking yesterday when the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture led by Solwezi East MMD MP Villie Lombanya paid a courtesy on him at his office.

He said the water basin which is shared between Zambia and the Democratic Republic (DR) Congo at 58 and 42 per cent respectively requires sustained coordination of the stakeholders to protect its economic value and ensure a steady supply of fish.

He called for government backed consensus in decision making and the creation of mutual incentives that will result into compliance with the management regulations of the fishery.

Mr. Chakaba bemoaned the use of mosquito nets and other destructive methods of fishing on the Mweru-Luapula Fishery which he said have adverse impact on the fish population and future production.
He urged for the removal of the illegal settlers at the Mifimbo fish breeding area arguing that they are disturbing the spawning cycle of the migrating fish that trek there during the breeding period.

The DC has since appealed to the government to expedite the approval of the Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) that defines that relationship between the stakeholders and the fisheries authorities.

The area which stretches from Mambilima falls in Mwense District to Lunchinda in Chienge Mweru-Luapula basin that includes the open Lake, flood plains, marshes and the Luapula River is home to about 100 fish species.

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