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Zimbabwean Fishing Communities Fear for Future as Stocks Dwindle

A fishing rig sails into the waters of Lake Kariba on 03 November 2021, in Binga, Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe. Successive droughts have caused the Kapenta fishing business to become less lucrative as there is too many rigs on the ever decreasing water body.

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.


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