Corruption affecting fishing in Salima

Traditional Authority (T/A) Makanjira of Salima has bemoaned lack of commitment by some Traditional leaders along the lakeshore, who have been embroiled in corrupt acts which has contributed over fishing.

T/A Makanjira of Salima  bemoans corruption
Fishermen start off to Mbenje in Salima- Photo by Tione Andsen, Mana

He said in interview at Mnema Headquarters in Salima during media interaction on the prospects of Mbenje Island Fishing area.

The TA said it was worrisome to note that despite having potential of protecting fish species in the Lake, most Chiefs have been entangled in corrupt acts which is threatening sustainability of the fishing sector in the country.

Makanjira said traditional leaders are failing to uphold their own by laws on how to protect fish species by encouraging fishermen to use rightful fishing gears.

“What is coming out so clearly is that most Chiefs are failing to act on their by-laws because most of them are failing to resist from temptations of corruption from the fishermen along the lakeshore area because the offers are extremely appetizing,” he explained.

He appealed to chiefs along the lakeshore that they have a responsibility to ensure that fish species are being protected by encouraging fishermen to use rightful fishing gears.

Makanjira said Chiefs should work closely with Beach Village Committees (BVC) for their proper enforcement of their by-laws.

He added that observation of the breeding seasons is vital in order to provide an opportunity for the fish to multiple in the lake during their period.

“I wish to appeal to the Department of Fisheries to assist us and that an orientation session should be provided to those chiefs so that they should have a proper understanding on how controlled fishing is important to their livelihoods.  They can come to Mbenje and learn one of two things for their own benefit,” the TA suggested.

Makanjira said his areas continue to utilize traditional way of breeding fish in Mbenje and that communities have appreciated their roles in safeguarding their fish species.

Fisheries Technical Assistant for Chipoka Area, Lustico Chikaiko admitted that his area is facing a number of challenges which have contributed to low yields of fish.

He said despites have by-laws in the area but most BVC are not active as compared to those operating in Mnema area.

“BVC are lacking leadership drive from their Traditional leaders for the enforcement of by-laws. We have engaged them but they is hope that things will normalized with the coming of Ripple Africa projects,” Chikaiko disclosed.

The fishing season is in session and it was opened in April and breeding season is expressed to start by November 1, 2019.

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