Poachers threaten Kariba fisheries – NewsDay Zimbabwe

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BY OBERT SIAMILANDU

KApentA fish producers have raised concerns about the illegal fish trade in Lake Kariba, saying it threatens the viability of the industry.

According to Article 7 of the Commercial Kapenta Producer License, it is illegal for traders to buy or sell kapenta fish without a license to operate.

But illegal buyers reportedly flooded Lake Kariba at night to fetch or buy kapenta at below-market prices from poachers.

“We are concerned that small boats roaming Lake Kariba are illegally buying kapenta from these fishermen,” said the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Kapenta Producers Association, Nesbert Mapfumo.

“These boats are not registered and according to water and interior laws they should stop operating at 6 p.m. in the lake. The operators of these small boats track fishermen at night to buy kapenta.

“We are no longer receiving kapenta through official channels and it is bad for our industry and the statistical information we give to the government is now distorted.”

Recently, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) threatened Lake Kariba permit holders that they risk losing their permits if they buy or sell kapenta in ports and islands.

ZimParks said the move was to close the fishery to allow license holders and rod poaching.

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