Nkhata Bay Council mulls over charging fees on fish trade

Nkhata Bay, May 8: Nkhata Bay District Council is in the primary stage of introducing tariff on all fish leaving the lakeshore district for commercial purposes as one way of generating more revenue.

Speaking to Malawi News Agency (MANA) Sunday, Nkhata Bay District Fisheries Officer (DFO) Dellings Kamenya said the initiative was one way of ensuring that Nkhata Bay district economically benefitted from its natural resources.

Nkhata Bay district is one of the main sources of fish especially Usipa (silver fish) that goes in other areas and districts even Lilongwe in huge amounts for sell; we are introducing a fee to the fish traders so that in that way the council will benefit from its resources in the district, he said.

The DFO said the amount to be paid per weight of bulk fish is yet to be discussed, and he further stressed that the fee will not affect those buying for home use.

The initiative is in early stage and we have not yet come up with the price against the weight of fish leaving Nkhata Bay. Rest assured that this development will only apply to those in the fish selling business going outside Nkhata Bay, and not fishermen or the customers merely buying for home consumption, Kamenya explained.

To ensure successful implementation of the initiative, he said Nkhata Bay district council together with the Police plan to install a check point at Tukombo in Nkhata Bay south.

To make sure that the initiative is a success the council is going to enforce it by making an arrangement with the Police to move the road block from Matete where it’s currently situated to Tukombo so that we cover the whole district and also ensure fish traders do not escape from paying the fee, Kamenya said.

He said part of the earning from this initiative will go to the fisheries department to facilitate its smooth office operation.

It is not yet established how the traders will take the development but should other districts in the shores of Lake Malawi emulate the initiative, then the price of fish will automatically go up on the market.

Source: Malawi News Agency � MANA