Chief Chitimbwa of the Lungu people in Mpulungu district has called on fishermen on Lake Tanganyika to consider engaging in other income generating projects to avoid over dependence on the water body.
The traditional leader said people can engage in other projects such as agriculture and aquaculture as a way of earning a living other than from the usual fishing.
Chief Chitimbwa said this is in view of the depleting fish stocks in Lake Tanganyika.
The traditional leader was speaking to ZANIS in an interview in Mpulungu.
And Acting Mpulungu District Fisheries and Livestock Coordinator Mabo Lwambanya has attributed the depletion of fish on the lake to among other factors, the increase in the number of fishermen.
He said this has put more pressure on the fish as a source of income.
He added that the use of wrong fishing nets could also add to the problem together with the issues of climate change.
“We do not necessarily know the real reason that is causing fish stock to deplete but we have identified several factors that could lead to these and they include the increase in the number of fishermen on the lake and the use of bad nets,” he said.
And Natural Resources Management Specialist at Lake Tanganyika Development Project Willem Colenbrander said the project is working with Village Conservation Development Committees to help monitor and control the use of natural resources in the lake.
Mr. Colenbrander said through this initiate, the project is promoting responsible use of the resources on the lake.
“We are not against the use of resources but the resources have to be used in a sustainable way so that they are not depleted,” he said.
He further disclosed that the project is also supporting afforestation programmes and promoting conservation agriculture in the plateau area.
Meanwhile, Lake Tanganyika Multipurpose Fishing Association Secretary, Ackim Mwelwa has pledged to work with other fishermen to conserve resources in the lake.
Mr. Mwelwa explained that the conservation of the lake is everyone’s interest adding that people in the area also want their children to benefit from the fish in future.
“We want to conserve because we want our children to see the different fish stocks that are found in the lake,” he said.