Illegal fishing activities in Zambezi haunt Esau

WINDHOEK: The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau says his ministry is still facing challenges of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities in the Zambezi Region.

Esau made this statement during the motivation of his ministry’s N.dollars 353 million budget in the National Assembly on Thursday.

He said the illegal fishing activities are tough to control because of the vastness of the area, and the unavailability of suitable patrol crafts such as hovers and air boats.

“Illegal catches are dried, packed in bales and exported directly to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) via Zambia,” he said.

In this respect, Esau said the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources is currently in the process of acquiring such patrol crafts for a considerable amount of money.

The minister added that it is also necessary to increase the presence of fisheries inspectors in the region in order to widen the country’s surveillance activities.

“In order to carry out activities under this program during the 2015/16 financial year, an amount of N.dollars 124 million is requested,” Esau told parliament.