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Department of Fisheries

The main function of the Department of Fisheries is to oversee the implementation on the national fisheries programmes in capture fisheries and aquaculture development. The department is also responsible for the enforcement and regulation of the Fisheries Act, cap 22 of 2011 of the laws of Zambia. It carries out research in fisheries and aquaculture, in order to achieve a sustainable fishing industry and economic benefits.

Mission Statement

“To facilitate and support a sustainable and competitive fisheries sector to assure food security and increased incomes at household and national levels and to maximise the sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)” and to preserve natural waters in order to increase household incomes and reduce poverty. To provide technical information required for sustainable exploitation and production of fish in order to increase household incomes”.

Vision Statement

“To promote increased and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture production, productivity and management in order to ensure food security, income generation, creation of employment opportunities and a reduction in poverty levels.”

Overall Objective

The overall objective of the Department is to promote sustainable utilization of fisheries resources in Zambia. The objective is to be achieved by employing responsive research, extension strategies, training programmes and promoting public/private partnerships at all levels of development and management of the fisheries sector.

Structural Organisation and Functions

The Department of Fisheries is headed by a Director and is divided into the following branches;

  1. Capture Fisheries Branch

The capture fisheries branch is divided into two Units namely;

  • Capture Fisheries Research Unit
  • Capture Fisheries Development and Management Unit
  1. Aquaculture Branch

The aquaculture branch is divided into two branches namely;

  • Aquaculture Research Unit
  • Aquaculture Development Unit
  • Training Unit
  • Fisheries Statistics and Information Management Unit

Functions for the Capture Fisheries Research Unit

  • Conserve, utilize, manage and develop fishery resources and waters in a sustainable manner;
  • Take such measures as are necessary for the protection of fish stocks from the effects of pollution and from any other effects which are harmful or potentially harmful to fish stocks;
  • Take appropriate measures, in consultation with the Environmental Management Agency, for the safeguard against extinction of protected species;
  • Conduct and support fisheries research and development;
  • Investigate the health of aquatic environment: through limnological studies, other aquatic organisms
  • Investigate and promote health of fish product from fishery: fish processing, develop appropriate fish value addition technologies
  • Sustainable fishing of entire fish species spectrum: develop appropriate fishing gears for various fish species, assess the catchability and fishing gear effectiveness
  • Fish stock assessment: determine carrying capacity of given fishery catchment, assess standing fish biomass, estimate fish production and uptake/catches
  • Determine/monitor fish biology: growth, abundance, distribution, habitat health Programme(s) developers; activity coordinators; supervisors; gear designers, developers and constructors; data collectors, cleaners, collators and processors;

 functions for Capture Fisheries Management and Development Unit

  • Regulate the conduct of fishing operations including aquaculture and operations ancillary thereto;
  • Manage, control and eliminate diseased fisheries resources;
  • Issue, vary, suspend and revoke any permits and licenses for fishing, equipment used for fishing, aquaculture and other activities for which permits or licences are required under this Act;
  • Ensure the fair access to fisheries resources for commercial, recreational and indigenous use;
  • Create an environment of cooperation and consultation with other public institutions so as to enable the other public institutions to perform their functions that impact on this Act, within the context of this Act and the ambit of their respective powers and functions;
  • Liaise or interface with similar organs in the other countries or international institutions dealing with fisheries conservation and management

Functions for Aquaculture Research Unit

  • Coordinate and conduct aquaculture research in fish breeding and genetics, fish nutrition, fish health, production systems and pond limnology to generate scientific information for the increased productivity and production and for policy formulation;
  • Develop and adapt new aquaculture products and technologies for aquaculture development;
  • Supply of quality broodstock and fingerlings to both public and private institutions and farms in order to enhance fish production;
  • Produce, package and disseminate the information to enhance aquaculture subsector growth;
  • Collaborate with other local and international research and development institutions and universities in order to share knowledge and information;
  • Train interested stakeholders in the developed aquaculture products and technologies in order to apply the improved technologies for improved productivity;
  • Mobilise funds through the development of bankable project proposals for the purposes of aquaculture research;
  • Revise regularly of the aquaculture policy in order for aquaculture research to be relevant to the existing environment;
  • Maintain of an up to date aquaculture research information management system for proper storage and quick retrieval of relevant information;
  • Monitor, mitigate and adapt the impacts of climate change;

 functions for Aquaculture Extension Unit

  • Review regularly the implementation of the aquaculture policy in order to sustain the development of the Aquaculture sub-sector
  • Provision of aquaculture extension services in order to ensure increased aquaculture productivity
  • Establish and manage operations of fish seed production and distribution centers in order to enhance fish production
  • Periodically carry out the registration of fish farmers in order to generate information required for planning and monitoring purposes
  • Co-ordinate effectively the live fish transfer and translocations in order to prevent introductions of invasive species
  • Carrying out timely monitoring and evaluation of Aquaculture extension management programmes to facilitate implementation of appropriate interventions
  • Maintenance of an up to date Information Management System in order to facilitate proper storage and quick retrieval of information
  • Supervision of human and other resources in order to attain the objectives of the section