Govt to digitise fishing industry 

Source: Govt to digitise fishing industry – NewsDay Zimbabwe

BY OBERT SIAMILANDU

THE Transport and Infrastructural Development ministry is looking to digitise the fishing industry owing to an increase in illegal activities, especially at Lake Kariba.

This was said by Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Felix Mhona when he toured Lake Kariba last Friday.

Mhona said there was need to introduce a computerised system with all kapenta-fishing vessels in the lake being monitored to curb poaching.

“It is worrisome that some of these illegal activities in Lake Kariba are propelled by corruption.  As the responsible authorities for inland water bodies, we are now going to computerise the registration of boats to curb the abuse of permits. We will co-ordinate with the Information Communication Department and come up with ways to curb illegal human elements,” Mhona said.

“Any boat that operates in the lake should officially be known by the ministry and any boat that operates in the lake illegally will be impounded,” he said.

It is suspected that they are hundreds of vessels from both Zimbabwe and Zambia operating illegally in the lake.

Some of these vessels are suspected to be using duplicate registration numbers.

This has been a cause for concern for years as it has contributed to overfishing and poaching.

In 2020, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority stopped the issuance of fishing permits in a move aimed at curbing the depletion of fish.

The maximum fishing rigs allowed in Lake Kariba is 500.

Out of this, 275 should operate on the Zimbabwean side, while 225 should operate on the Zambian side.

However, currently the lake houses more than 1 500 fishing vessels.

On the Zimbabwean side, Lake Kariba is divided into five hydrological basins: basin one (Mlibizi), basin two (Binga), basin three (Sengwa), basin four (Bumi/Chalala) and basin five (Sanyati).

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