Mining giant First Quantum Minerals through its corporate social responsibility is engaged in a fish restocking programme at the musangezhi dam at its sentinel mine in Kalumbila District, North-Western Province.
Kalumbila Trident Foundation Wildlife and Conservation Coordinator Dorian Tilbury emphasized that the restocking programme is having a very positive effect on communities.
The mine has from 2013 to date released 66,000 fingerlings into the dam.
The process was driven by the Department of Fisheries and together with His Royal Highness Senior Chief Musele and local communities, five community zones were identified and fishing committees were established in each of them.
The national fish deficit stands at 55,000 metric tonnes, with the country producing 80,000 metric tonnes of fish from rivers and lakes, and 20,000 metric tonnes from aquaculture.
Figures suggest that the amount of fish served up in Zambia is not even half of what might be considered the world average, with just 7 kilograms consumed per person per year, compared to the global norm of 19 kilograms.
The Musele fishing committee is made up of seven members of which the Chief is the patron, according to Mr. Tilbury, and once they were established they worked with the Department of Fisheries and created a set of by-laws to govern fishing rights and access to the dam.
The World Fish Center appears to accept that there is an important role for developing country governments to play, both in managing capture fisheries to prevent further stock depletion, and in regulating the development of aquaculture.
This is to ensure that it is both environmentally sustainable and pro-poor: “Under such conditions, fisheries and aquaculture can realize their potential as an important and growing source of economic development in rural areas.