A combined team of Zambia Police services and the fisheries department at the weekend arrested seven men for unlawful possession of 886 kilogrammes of dry and fresh fish during the fish ban contrary to CAP 200 of the laws of Zambia.
Namwala District Fisheries technician Mr Daniel Chiludika confirmed the arrest of the suspects to ZANIS in an interview yesterday.
Mr Chiludika identified the suspects as Mr Lameck Katami, Mr Bernard Kasanga, Mr Morris Muluti, Mr Robert Nasilele, and Mr Sitali Namagolwa.
Others were Mr Abel Nakamana, and Mr Herbert Cheelo all of Manyona fishing camp east of Namwala District along the Kafue River.
Mr Chiludika said the amount of dry fish seized indicate that suspects have been fishing with impunity since the fish ban came into effect.
“When you look at the amount of dry fish we seized it is evident that these people have been fishing and drying the fish since the ban came into effect on 1st December 2011,” said Mr Chiludika.
He said his department would intensify patrols to ensure that people found wanting were brought to book.
“Fishermen should understand that the government’s intention is to ensure breeding of fish during the fish ban so that people who depend of fishing as a source of livelihood can have food security,” Mr
Mr Chiludika, however, appealed to the government to ensure consistent funding during fish ban period to enable the department effectively enforces the fish ban in more than 47 fishing camps.
Since the fish ban came into effect more than 20 people in Namwala District have been arrested and subsequently sentenced to prison for been in unlawful possession of fish during the ban.
The seven suspects would appear in court, Tuesday this week.