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Fish poachers overrun Lake Kariba

Local News
Mangwanya said poachers had become more daring and dangerous when confronted by rangers.

THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZimParks) has decried rampant poaching in Lake Kariba especially in protected areas.

“Fish poaching in Lake Kariba exacerbates the challenges at Matusadona National Park as they also protect part of the lake which is a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on the Conservation of Wetlands of International Importance,” ZimParks director-general, Fulton Mangwanya, told NewsDay on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony of 34 rangers at Matusadona National Park.

“The major issue is they actually want to poach fish on the Zimbabwean side where we are employing proper conservation methods and as such the catch on this side is better than what they have on the other side (Zambia).

“And the other side is not a protected area so they do what they want and you would find out that the catch is very low so they try by all means to fish in prohibited areas because the crossing of the boundary on its own is something illegal.”

Mangwanya said poachers had become more daring and dangerous when confronted by rangers.

Poachers last year killed two rangers, Mangwanya revealed.

“And recently they abducted rangers who were actually trying to arrest them. Our rangers were assaulted,” the ZimParks director said.

“Last week or so they also stole our boat and now they say we should return theirs which we legally took from them.

“These are issues we are trying to deal with at provincial Joint Operations Command level.”

Lake Kariba carries more than 42 species of fish, among them the bream, tilapia, bottle fish and tiger fish.

Zimbabwe has a proud record of wildlife conservation housing the fourth largest rhino population in the world and the second largest elephant population globally.

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