|Fisher folk face trouble on the border|
|Written by Edson Haufiku|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 00:12|
Namibian nationals in the Caprivi region this week voiced concerns about their safety when fishing along the naturally rich Chobe River that forms the natural border between Namibia and Botswana.The Chobe River is a source of livelihood to many communities who subsist along its banks.
Their concerns stem from the recent killing of two Namibians by the Botswana Defense Force (BDF), when they were caught illegally hunting on that side of the river. According to reports by people living along the Chobe River which corresponds to several media reports on the issue, the BDF was previously known to have shot at people at random.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Public Relations Officer, Albert Mbanga warned Namibians against crossing rivers bordering other countries with the intent to fish, saying the middle of the river marks the definitive border between Namibia and its neighbours.
“Crossing over to the other side is a border violation,” Mbanga warned.
The PRO also urged people living alongside the Chobe River to remain on the Namibian side, where they can peacefully source their living, while stressing that only the Ministry of Fisheries can lawfully order people to stop fishing on the Namibian side. That however can only be done if and when the ministry is convinced that there is an outbreak of disease amongst the fish species and declared the fish to be unfit for human consumption.
The ministry currently issues permits to fish in the Chobe and Zambezi rivers based on the kind of gear to be used. With the exception of those fishing by traditional methods, which are not controlled, as they can not be used in deep water, people using nets are required to obtain a permit to do so, because the use of nets in deeper waters is one the biggest contributors to the reduction and depletion of riverine fish species.