Northern Bahr el Ghazal State Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries has temporarily banned early fishing in parts of the state.
This is to control overfishing and increase stocks while helping to rebalance upset ecosystems.
The Ministry said it has witnessed a decrease in mature fish population during harvest.
Luka Manut Jiel, Director General in the Ministry said fishermen often begin early fishing in rivers and swamps during the rainy season in July.
In a letter seen by Akol Yam FM, the Ministry said the ban is to allow fry and juvenile fish to mature.
“If anyone violates the orders, he/she will be fined with SSP 50,000 because the rivers around Northern Bahr el Ghazal state received water at the end of July,” Manut stated.
The order is effective till October, 2022.
However, some fishermen who spoke to Akol Yam disagreed with the directives.
“We don’t have means of survival because our crops were washed away by heavy rains and it is still raining,” one of the fisherman said.
Another added that “we are facing two challenges; food shortages and lack of shelter. Most of us can not afford the market prices, we have nothing for our children at home.”
In response, Mr. Manut said: “I know some fishermen might say that their crops were washed away by flooding and that is why they decided to come for fishing, but am advising you to look for other means – apart from fishing.”
The fishermen appealed to the state authorities to support their families during the period of the fishing ban.
“Give us some support for the duration you mentioned. If not we shall be continuing fishing because we also eat the small fishes that we catch with our nets,” a fisherman said.
Heavy rains and flash floods have continued to ravage parts of Northern Bahr el Ghazal state – forcing hundreds of families out of their homes and in dire need of humanitarian support.