Aspects of the fisheries of lake Liambezi, Caprivi


  • B.C.W. van der Waal


Lake Liambezi, situated in the Linyanti Swamp, Caprivi, is inhabited by 43 fish species. Population estimates with seine nets, rotenone and explosives gave values of 74 to 157 kg ha- I. The composition of seine net catches differed markedly from gill net catches where non-Cichlids form a majority. Results of a fleet of gill nets show that best catches of 25 kg 50 m-I net night-I can be made with 60 mm mesh nets, catching predominantly non-Cichlids (Marcusenius macrolepidotus, Schilbe mystus, Synodontis spp.). A small commercial fishery is established on the lake, with 60 active fishermen using large mesh (100- 150 mm) gill nets. Their catch consists mainly of cichlids (Sarotherodon andersoni and S. macrochir) and Clarias spp. Production figures dropped from 637 ton in 1973-74 to 115 ton in 1975-76. This drop is ascribed to reduced effort as well as a reduction in catch per unit effort. Recommendations are made to utilise the fishery potential of Lake Liambezi in a more balanced way by introducing small mesh gill nets to harvest non-Cichlid populations.