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Zimbabwean Fishing Communities Fear for Future as Stocks Dwindle

Esnath Munkuli is one of the 10 pioneering members of a women’s fishing co-operative, which had seen them all put children through school and invest in their families. But that success is now in danger of being reversed. Sometimes the Bbindauko Banakazi Kapenta Co-operative crew sail north across the border running through the middle of the lake into Zambian waters but a better catch is never guaranteed. A spokesman for Zimparks, Tinashe Farawo, confirmed that studies showed depleted fish populations in Lake Kariba, with a lack of rainfall reducing the algae that is at the base of the lake’s food chain. Fish farming is a lucrative venture in some parts of Zimbabwe but a project by the co-operative to build fish ponds failed. Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed to reduce the number of boats fishing their shared waters, but poaching is rife.