By OLIVER SAMBOKO
IMPORTATION of the deadly China Red clay fish into the country’s water bodies is a big scandal which Government should investigate and ensure that those involved are prosecuted, Small Scale Fish Farmers Association (SSFFA) chairperson Victor Chatilika has demanded.
He said the Red Clay fish believed to have been imported by the Chinese who were engaged to construct the Mongu-Kalabo Bridge which has invaded the Zambezi River poses great risk to the local Fish breed and if not addressed, the country will lose out its own species to exotic ones.
Mr Chatilika also called on the government to quickly find ways of destroying the dangerous fish before it spreads to all rivers in the country. “We are being told this same fish reproduces at a faster rate and feeds on the indigenous breeds, so if nothing is done, all the gain the country has made in the development of the aquaculture subsector will go down the drain,” he said.
He said there was no way any responsible officers in the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries could allow such a thing to happen under their watch. “The people who allowed the importation of this fish should be identified so that they can account for their actions,” he said.
Mr Chatilika said the red clay fish has the potential to wipeout the local breed and lender the efforts by Government to reduce the fish deficit gap in the country currently at over 80, 000 metric ton of fish per annum, impossible. He said his association was aware that the fish in question breeds at a faster rate and has the potential to slow down the gains the country has achieved in the development of the aquaculture subsector, in the past decade.