Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Derek Klazen, has called for collaborative efforts and cooperation from all stakeholders to effectively combat illegal fishing and to ensure a sustainable future for the generations to come.
Klazen who is on a familiarization visit in the Zambezi region commended the community for their unwavering commitment to preserving their natural resources and their active involvement in safeguarding their rivers.
He emphasized that his ministry: “Cannot overlook the pressing issue of illegal fishing and its detrimental consequences on the rivers and their delicate ecosystems,” noting that illegal fishing practices, such as the use of fine-mesh nets, electrofishing, and the over-exploitation of fish stocks, pose a grave threat to the sustainability of the fisheries and balance of the aquatic ecosystems.
Meanwhile, the Minister also paid a visit to the Sikunga Conservancy, where he applauded and recognised the efforts the individuals are putting in safeguarding the flora and fauna of the rivers, calling for a better sustainable relationship and exploitation of the inland fisheries and resources.
He further visited the Katima Mulilo Open Market where he toured and interacted with the fish vendors who shared concerns about the fishing moratorium on inland fishing from December to March, indicating that this was their peak time to sell fish to the holidaymakers in town and the region at large.
In response, the minister at a media briefing on Thursday, acknowledged that the effectiveness of a fishing moratorium placed on inland fisheries by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is believed to being jeopardized by the lack of adherence and strict enforcement of moratoriums in the neighbouring countries. He thus stated that it was evident that there was a need to harmonise the moratoriums.
The Ministry is also to assess the aquaculture infrastructure in the Zambezi and investigate the possibility of establishing a satellite office at Impalila Island to enable the decentralisation of fisheries services and the creation of a modern fisheries farm at Wenela in Katima Mulilo.
The aim of the visit is to shed light on the importance of preserving the rivers and their diverse fish species, which play a significant role in sustaining the livelihoods of the local community and households.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency