With four major lakes and three major rivers within its borders, Zambia is one of the most water rich countries in Africa. These expanses boast approximately 400 fish species where their ecosystems are sensitive and need to be protected in order to ensure that other dependent life forms continue to thrive. Overfishing, however, poses a significant threat to the survival of these ecosystems.
Fish are a vital element of the biodiversity that maintains functioning lake and river ecosystems; and are a major food source to both people and animals. If fishing is conducted in a responsible manner, fish will remain a sustainable source of food for people across Zambia. To ensure that this takes place, and to reduce the threat of overfishing, local communities need to be educated about best fishing practices and the problems that overfishing can cause.
The volunteer team at Loin Encounter made the active decision to take action and provide an educational talk to children at the Mukamusaba Conservation education club. Their objective was to teach the students about fish, fishing and the conservation thereof. The different methods that are used for fishing, both the good and bad, were discussed. The volunteers continued to explain the problems associated with some of the techniques, including mosquito nets and fish poisons. They also highlighted why fishing nets, traditional fish traps and spearing are better alternatives to the aforementioned. The need for fishing permits was also discussed as fishing without a permit is against the law. The educational talk was a key step in raising up a generation of responsible fishing communities and paving the way to a sustainable future for the people of Zambia.