By Jonas Miselo
The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has continued its operations against illegal fishing during the annual closed fishing season commonly known as fish ban with the latest operation leading to the seizure of over six hundred and seventy-six kilograms (676kgs) of fish.
The operation was carried out in collaboration with different security wings including Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Police, Department of National Packs and Wildlife Authority, Office of the President Special Division and the 48 Marine commandos in Yongolo village in Senior Chief Kalasamukoso’s area.
The unknown people ran away leaving behind bags of fish immediately they saw the security officers.
Samfya District Fisheries Officer (DFO) Amon Foloweza confirmed the raid in an interview with the National Agricultural Information Services.
Mr. Foloweza said it is unfortunate that people choose not to adhere to the fishing ban.
“What that means is that we will not realise the benefits of the fishing ban because it will just be the same as in the open season, because instead of letting the fish breed they are fishing as usual,” he said.
The fisheries further said that the fishing ban is not there to disadvantage anyone.
“Let us allow the fish to breed so that we can enhance the stocks in our water bodies, are we not ashamed that with all our water bodies in Luapula that fish is even more cheaper to buy in Lusaka than Samfya?” he wondered.
And Samfya District Commissioner Nason Bwalya has advised the people of Samfya to observe the law during this fishing ban period.
“These operations we are carrying out are to the benefit our people, people are very much aware that fish has depleted and by observing the fish ban the catches of fish will improve hence improving the people’s livelihood,” he said.
The district commissioner also revealed that the operation led to the capture of other items he could not reveal for security but the matter will be handed over to the police for further investigations.
The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Commission three weeks ago intercepted a truck laden with over 2.6 tonnes of fish after a tip off from members of the public.
The operation led to the capture of three suspected smugglers, who are yet to appear in court soon.