Friday, February 28, 2014

RESEARCH REPORT: HISTORICAL ANALYSIS ON THE ZAMBEZI BIOLOGICAL & MARKET SURVEYS,(2007-2012)



HISTORICAL ANALYSIS ON THE ZAMBEZI BIOLOGICAL & MARKET
SURVEYS,(2007-2012) 

“TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE UTILISATION OF FRESH WATER FISHERIES”
Compiled by KIFI RESEARCH TEAM
Editors: E. Simasiku& S.G. Sitengu
January 2014

EXECUTIVE SUMMERY

The Zambezi (formerly known as Caprivi Region) and Kavango Regions have considerable surface water resources in the form of several large perennial rivers including the Kavango, Kwando and Zambezi Rivers. Up to 75 per cent of households in the Zambezi Region are involved in subsistence fishing. As local population grow, improved infrastructure and communication, increased pressure is placed on the fish resources resulting in the commercialisation of the fishery leading to the over-exploitation of fish stocks coupled with the use of illegal and destructive fishing gears.

Experimental gillnets in the Zambezi/Chobe, Kwando and Lake Liambezi was dominated by non-cichlidsfamily species such as Mormyridae, Characidae and Schilbeidae. These species are ecologically important and presents a good source of protein to the community. The large cichlids only appeared among the top 10 most important species in the Kwando system whereas none of the large cichlids appeared in the Zambezi/Chobe system and Lake Liambezi. Research has also demonstrated a sharp decline in Catch per unit effort (CPUE) in the Zambezi and Lake Liambezi over time while the Kwando was more pristine indicating a stable and healthy river system.The decline in CPUE is of great concern as this maybe an indication of high fishing pressure in the Zambezi River and Lake Liambezi.

Market surveys were also explored by means of daily wet weight statistics at the Katima Mulilo fish market. Based on a total estimate production of 2040 tons of fresh fish traded wholesale from May 2011 to April 2012, and an average value of N$8.00 per kilo, the value of the Katima Mulilo fish market was approximately N$15.8 million per annum. Most of the fish in the market (Destined for export) originated from Lake Liambezi with less fish recorded from the Chobe and Zambezi river system.

Recommendations were made to manage the fishery in the Zambezi Region by imposing restrictions on effort (number of fishing boats), gear type, mesh sizes and access. Proper fisheries management and monitoring should incorporate the establishment of Fish Protected Areas(FPAs) to ensure sustainable utilization of the fish stock in the region.

The full 27 page report is available on request at: aquaculturenam@gmail.com

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