ZIMBABWE STATEMENT BY HON. O.C.Z MUCHINGURI – KASHIRI; MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE DURING PARTNERSHIP DIALOGUE 4: MAKING FISHERIES SUSTAINABLE
Let me begin by extending Zimbabwe’s warmest congratulations to you Co-Chairs on your appointment to Chair this important Partnership Dialogue in which we are deliberating to make making fisheries sustainable.
Despite Zimbabwe being a landlocked country, the country takes the implementation of SDG 14 seriously. Good land use and agricultural practices have a bearing on sustainable fisheries. Poor practices are a source of pollution, for example, misuse of fertilisers and pesticides can affect river systems. Polluted waters also end up in oceans through the river systems. Therefore we need to have a holistic approach when dealing with sustainable fisheries that include addressing issues of all forms of pollution.
Zimbabwe has extensive inland water resources with over 10 000 medium to large dams. In these inland water bodies, there are over 50,000 small scale artisanal fisheries with fishing permits. These small scale artisanal fisheries are contributing significantly to achievement of SDG goals (number 2 and 3) which focus on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and ensuring health lives and well-being for our people.
Co – Chairs
For us to achieve the targets of SDGs 2 and 3, there is need for countries to take drastic measures in ensuring that the targets of SDG 14 are met.
In the case of Zimbabwe, we have the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority mandated to enforce fisheries policy and legislation. Enforcement is carried out in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies such as the Police. We also have regional partnerships such as the Zambezi River Authority between Zimbabwe and Zambia. We also have bilateral partnerships with Mozambique and South Africa in managing fish stocks in shared water courses. Successes that have been achieved in these partnerships are largely attributed to working closely with communities who are the custodians of the fish resource and hence are part of the enforcement machinery. This is a strategy which has seen a reduction in overfishing.
Co – Chairs
Another strategy we employ to reduce overfishing is confiscation of illegal fishing rigs, cancellation of licences and heavy penalties. Our conservation management framework involves imposing partial fishing moratorium to enhance breeding and replenishment of fish stocks. As a way of promoting sustainable utilisation of fisheries, Zimbabwe has put in place mechanisms to ensure that communities are benefiting economically from the resource. We believe the only way to ensure sustainability is to incentivise communities and include them in all decision making processes in fisheries management.
Also it is important to stagger licence fee structures and communities must pay less so that they see a value and have a sense of ownership. This is because from the onset, they are the ones who are displaced when dams are constructed for commercial fisheries. There is also a SADC Fisheries Programme at regional level, 2015 – 2020, which among other activities set up the SADC Regional Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Coordination Centre (MCSCC) housed in Mozambique. This centre coordinates regional efforts in combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing including joint law enforcement operations, reform of legislation and capacity building of small fisheries to effectively manage the resource.
Co – Chairs
My Government has embarked on a Command Fisheries Programme which will be largely driven by rural communities mostly women and youths at small scale artisanal fisheries level. In order to make this programme sustainable, the Government has partnered private sector and NGOs to provide technical expertise on breeding and management of fish stocks.
Despite all these efforts to promote sustainable fisheries, we are seized with a myriad of challenges to deal with capacitating our research unit and managing pollution in our water bodies. We humbly appeal for cooperation in technology transfer, pollution monitoring and control as well as financial resources for capacitating our research units and laboratories.
I thank You Co Chairs.
For more details on sustainable fisheries management in Zimbabwe, please contact the following;
The Director General
Mr. Geoffreys Matipano
Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority
Corner Borrowdale Road and Sandringham Drive
Box CY 140
Telephone: +263 772 116 389