GOVERNMENT has with immediate effect suspended the issuing of new kapenta fishing licences in Lake Kariba saying the number of rigs has now exceeded scientifically proven sustainable levels.
Scientific studies have capped the number of fishing rigs for both Zimbabwe and Zambia at 500 rigs (split 275 rigs and 225 rigs each respectively) according to a 2009 SADC protocol.
The permits are issued per rig and new registrations have been suspended effectively shutting out the introduction of new rigs into the lake.
Zimbabawe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesperson Mr Tinashe Farawo confirmed the development saying the rigs in the lake have already exceeded the maximum limit.
“We can confirm that registration of new kapenta rigs will no longer be approved. The rigs which are operating in Lake Kariba have reached the maximum required number.
“We have already passed the 500 kapenta fishing rigs threshold which means 275 rigs on the Zimbabwean side and 225 on the Zambian side. We have already passed that limit. This has led to overfishing of the resources,” said Mr Farawo.