Matabeleland North Province has launched the command fisheries programme at Bubi-Lupane dam with a view to improve food fish and commercial fish production in the province.

The command fisheries programme is also expected to benefit Lupane State University as it will avail opportunities for the institution to use the facility to perfect students’ fish processing skills.

In a speech read on his behalf, Matabeleland North Minister of State, Ambassador Cain Mathema, said while communities have welcomed the programme for the purposes of food security, there is need to adopt the permit system to ensure the protection of the natural resources.

“This will ensure that the sustainable utilisation of this fishery resource in the long term. At this stage let me point out that this dam will serve as a command production centre where the off spring of the fish which we are planting today will be harvested later to distribute more fish to all the dams in our province. Once the introduced fish have stabilised, and are increasing, various business based on these resources will commence,” he said.

The launch of the command fisheries programme will ensure people will derive several benefits from it, said some of the delegates who attended the event.

The Nile Tapila has been chosen as the variety for the project because of its fast reproduction and suitability in the country`s climatic conditions.

More than 700 000 fish have already been distributed in 20 districts so far and the programme is expected to improve the utilisation of 10 000 small to medium dams in the country.