Updated: Oct 10, 2019

An undoubted highlight of the regatta weekend was the Royal visit of the Litunga - the King of Zambia's Barotse people, His Majesty Litunga Lubosi Imwiko II, and the holding of the traditional Lozi ceremony of the Kupuwana. A historic day for lucky witnesses as this is the third time ever in history that this cultural ceremony has been held in Livingstone. The Kuomboka ceremony is normally held annually in Mongu.

James Hitchins was fortunate enough to meet the Litunga himself and to outline the Save the Zambezi Foundation to him and James reports that the Litunga has offered his support to Save the Zambezi - a huge feather in the cap to have Zambian Royalty on sides for the foundation.

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Watch James talk on Save the Zambezi

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Updated: Sep 11, 2019

Meeting at Maramba River Lodge with interested parties and the Department of Fisheries Zambia
Meeting at Maramba River Lodge with interested parties and the Department of Fisheries Zambia

We are happy to report our very successful meeting with our Zambia Department of Fisheries in Livingstone on 19 August 2019. Check out the minutes below.

Fisheries Department & Save The Zambezi Foundation

Initial Consultation Meeting

Meeting Overview

Date: 19thAugust 2019

Location: Maramba River Lodge, Livingstone

Attendees:See enclosed contact list

Presentations given:

1. State of the Upper Zambezi Fishery (Provincial Fisheries Officer, Southern Province)

2. Save the Zambezi Foundation (Director)

3. Fisheries Legal and Policy Framework (Chief Fisheries Officer)

See enclosed PowerPoint presentations for content detail

Overview of general Points of Interest from presentations & discussion:

· All parties broadly agreed on the fundamental threats faced by both fisheries on the Upper Zambezi, both in terms of commercial and subsistence utilization, including:

o Over exploitation of fish stocks

o Open access registration process

o Use of illegal fishing practices, including but not limited to illegal netting

o Climate change

o Shared water bodies and uncoordinated cross-border management strategies

o Limited resources provided to the Fisheries Department and therefore weak institutional capacity

o Large, unregulated waterbodies that can be logistically difficult to patrol

o Fisheries staff are often both extension officers and enforcement officers which can cause conflict

o Invasive fish species

o Diseases

o Lack of up to date scientific research, including stock data

o Lack of full understanding on Fisheries Act within subsistence fishing communities

o Lack of community buy-in

o Conflict between indigenous and migrant fishers

o By-catch

All parties broadly agreed on the fundamental strategies that should be considered for a sustainable approach to the management of fisheries, including:

o Effective enforcement of Fisheries Act and prosecution of infractions

o Establishment of protected areas/no netting zones and/or seasonal fishing/netting bans

o Potential for establishing a network of ‘Honorary Fisheries Officers’

o Potential for developing a geographically specific ‘Fisheries Management Plan’ to outline contextually-specific management measures

o Participatory fisheries management approach and effective involvement of community members

o Effective sensitization campaigns and cohesive messaging, including radio and other media

o Collaboration of stakeholders and effective communication at all levels

o Provision of alternative livelihood opportunities for subsistence fishers, with a focus on agricultural opportunities and effective market linkages

o Robust scientific research

o Opportunity for innovation in fisheries management strategies as well as the potential for use of technology

o Relevance of KAZA and other trans-boundary bodies

o All parties agreed that the potential role of Save the Zambezi Foundation lies within the existing legal framework of the Fisheries Act

All parties broadly agreed on the proposed ‘key areas of work’ for the focus of Save the Zambezi Foundation:

1. Resource Mobilisation

2. No Netting Zones

3. Education & Outreach

4. Alternative Livelihoods

5. Scientific Research

Details on specific areas of further discussion:

Honorary Fisheries Officers

o This has not been done in Zambia before, although there is provision within the Fisheries Act

o Discussions are currently ongoing with the Minister regarding the practicalities of implementing this program, including how individuals would be identifies, what eligibility criteria would be required, what responsibilities/authority they may have and how abuse of the system would be avoided

Fisheries Management Plan

Within the existing legal framework, there is provision for the establishment localised Management Plans than can include additional management measures.

Discussion covered the following potential items for inclusion:

o Registration & licensing of fishers, including the potential for use of digital data collection and record keeping.

o N.B Any adjustments to relevant fee structures must go through relevant Government authorities alongside cost-benefit-analyses and impact assessments. This cannot be amended as part of localised Management Plans.

o Registration & licensing of fishing vessels, including potential for visible markers for easy identification during patrols and boat tracking devices

o Establishing specific quotas for number of licenses available for a specific area/habitat

o Establishing specific quotas for number of nets allowed per license (i.e one license = one net)

o Barcode/tagging of nets to aid tracking of licenses and easy identification of legal vs illegal nets

o Determining level of restricted access to licenses (local vs migrant fishers)

o Determining the specific species remit for licenses

o Mesh sizes (currently 3inches but can be down to 1.5inch depending on species)

o Maximum length of nets allowed (this is currently not included in national regulations)

o Potential for mandatory annual training in Fisheries Act before any license is issued

o Establishing and policing temporary and/or permanent ‘No Netting Zones’, potentially based on specific fish species based on habitats and breeding patterns

o For example, a bi-annual fishing ban for Upper Zambezi fishery due to endemic species having 2 breeding seasons

o Banning of illegal practices such as drag netting/drifting

o Implementing mandatory ‘Buffer Zones’ ensuring sufficient space between nets is left for fish and vessels to travel

o Designated landing sites for more efficient regulation as well as effective catch data collection

o Establishment (or in some cases, re-establishment) of Community Based Fisheries Management Committees

o Challenge of ensuring appropriate and effective incentives must be carefully considered

o Establishment (or in some cases, re-establishment) of designated landing sites

o Monitoring & Surveillance Strategy (patrol reports, team structures etc)

Next Steps

1. Draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Fisheries Department and Save the Zambezi Foundation to be drawn up, agreed and submitted to the Ministry of Justice for approval and signing

2. Development of a detailed map of the area of focus for Save the Zambezi Foundation, including all relevant communities, businesses and other conservation/development projects active in the area

3. Meetings with community leadership and fishers in relevant locations in collaboration with representatives from the Fisheries Department. This should include detailed discussion of problems/solutions as perceived by the communities at large as well as scoping out potential for management measures outlined above

4. Development of proposal for an Upper Zambezi Fisheries Management Plan (with participation from all stakeholders, including community members and will require more detailed surveying of the specific contexts)

5. Development of specific agreements with District Fisheries Offices regarding ‘Resource Mobilisation’ plans and STZ support for effective patrols etc.

Key Upcoming Events

· Livingstone Sports Festival (STZ is charitable partner)

· Agricultural Fair, Livingstone Golf Couse (SZF to join Fisheries booth)

Action List

Fisheries Department to share MOU as example (Peace Corps + NNF)

Fisheries Department to share AWF Management Plan (via Sekute Development Trust)

Evans to share MSC Monitoring Tool documentation

Save the Zambezi to share Stakeholder Analysis (once complete)

Save the Zambezi to draft MOU based on examples sent

Save the Zambezi to work with Fisheries Department to arrange community visits

Save the Zambezi to get in touch with Carl Hutzermuyer for advice

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