Image: InfoMinZw

Suspected fish poachers have poisoned fish in Watson dam, 3 kilometres from Hwata shops in Karoi, a senior government official has disclosed.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Nick Mangwana confirmed the development saying fish could be seen floating as a result of the unidentified substance they used.

He said the case is being investigated by both the Veterinary Services and Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

“The public is warned to be wary of the fish they are buying for consumption and advised to buy from registered and licensed butcheries and fishmongers.

“Mitigation measures have since been put in place to deal with the situation by relevent authorities,” he said.

In recent years, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority rangers have been running battles with fish poachers at Lake Chivero last week.

ZimParks spokesperson Tinashe Farawo at some point said they will continue carrying out patrols at lakes across the country to curb fish poaching. He said wildlife is under threat from poaching and ZimParks has intensified surveillance at the lake.

In 2021 about 43 fish poachers were nabbed.

“We are carrying out operations against fish poaching at Lake Chivero and 43 people have been caught for fishing without permits or licenses or fishing in prohibited areas.

“We warn fish poachers that we are on high alert and poaching will not be tolerated. Most illegal fishing activities happen during night, but the authority’s rangers always patrol the length and breadth of the lake, hence the arrests. During the day, the teams also maintain their presence as part of law enforcement,” said Farawo at the time.

In February, 2020, a suspected fish poacher was shot and injured after he attempted to disarm a ZimParks ranger at Lake Chivero.