Lake Ngami: A Fluctuating Lacustrine Fishery

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Glenn S Merron


This paper presents an overview of events leading up to a ban on fishing at Lake Ngami in 2015 and 2016. The ban was put into effect after fears were raised that the fish resource was being overexploited by illegal fishermen, often from foreign countries. The illegal fishing posed a threat to local fishermen who depend on the resource as an important component of their economic livelihood. Steps have been taken by the government of Botswana to curb illegal fishing including a ban on the exportation of dry fish from Ngamiland to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia. The ban on fishing was lifted on 1 December 2016 and only fishermen with valid licenses are permitted to fish. Suggested fisheries actions by the author are based on an understanding of the distribution and abundance of fish in the Okavango system.

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