Fish theft threatening fish farming
Mzimba District Fisheries Office has expressed concern over theft of fish in some ponds within Manyamula, Kazomba and Chikangawa extension planning areas in Mzimba District.
In an interview, District Fisheries Officer (DFO) for Mzimba, Andrew Saukani said the emerging malpractice if not checked, has the potential of counteracting efforts in promoting fish farming in the district.
He said the thieves use poisonous substances which can kill all fish including fingerlings in a pond.
“We are greatly concerned because sustainable fish farming guarantees nutrition security besides enhancing households’ livelihoods as is also a source of income,” said Saukani.
Saukani however, said his department in consultation with some stakeholders is planning for long-term solution to deal with the problem.
“We are planning to formulate by-laws which will among other things stipulate that any person selling fresh farmed fish within Mzimba has to produce a clearance letter signed by a chairperson of fish farming club within a given area,” he said.
On his part, a fish farmer from Makazi Fish Farming Club under Manyamula Extension Planning Area, Jonathan Nyirenda described the malpractice as a derailing factor to fish farming in the district.
He however, expressed optimism that the establishment and enforcement of the proposed bylaws will go a long way in curbing the malpractice.