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Petition against illegal fishing stirring big waves

Avatar of inke inke - 16. January 2017 - Environment, Gondwana Collection

Fisheries reserves along the Zambezi and Chobe river systems in the Zambezi Region where all fishing activities are suspended from 1 December to 28 February every year.

Illegal fishing in Namibia is taking its final toll. Commercialization and exportation has placed immense pressure on the eco- and river systems, the local communities and tourism. This is stated through a video that was released on Friday morning (13/01) as part of an enlightenment campaign. Gondwana Collection Namibia is in full support of this initiative.

This video calls for the control of fresh water fishing, as well as the implementation of existing legislative regulations. With this nature conservationists, fishing associations and concerned civilian groups are asking for public support. This video has been a success. It has been viewed over 28,000 times in only 36 hours and the petition has been signed by 800 people.

“The situation with the fishing here it really is reaching crisis proportions. Commercialization which is what has happened is causing massive problems. Fish are being exported widely and now it is continually increasing the pressure on the resources,” says Denis Tweddle of the Namibia Nature Foundation. 

Mark Paxton of POWAG Conservation believes that the current exploitation of fish resources will soon come to the point where it cannot recover. “It will affect the bird life which is an integral part of the river system. The birdlife will change radically and it will fundamentally kill the river.” This would not only the communities living on the river of their livelihood. Their cultural heritage, which is closely linked to the river system, would be threatened.

The Ministry of Fisheries has taken the first steps. In the Government Gazette of 15 December 2016, No. 296 the Ministry of Fisheries bans (outlaws) the use of monofilament nets in Namibia for regular fishing. In No. 297 the Ministry of Fisheries declares a closed season on all fishing in the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers every year, from 1 December to 28 February. This is to give fish stocks a chance to recover, move into the floodplains with rising water levels, and breed. Furthermore, the Ministry of Fisheries has declared the Kasaya Channel in the Impalila Conservancy a fisheries reserve (No. 298).

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