OF MAIN LANDING PLACESfollowing:
Lesotho is a small, land-locked country with an area of 30 350 km2.
The country is entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa and
is predominantly mountainous, with high plateaus. It rises from 1 500
m above sea level in the west to 3 350 m in the east, to the mountains
forming the Drakensburg range. The fisheries sector currently contributes
little to the overall national economy, but the development of aquaculture,
in particular trout farming, is considered to have potential for substantial
economic contribution. The relief of Lesotho is basically mountainous,
and the country has into four agro-ecological regions. These are the
lowlands, the foothills, the mountains, and the Sengu (Orange) river
valley. Administratively, the country is divided into ten districts.
Lesotho's water resources are mainly in the form of rivers. There are,
however, a few medium-sized reservoirs, with the largest, Katse reservoir,
being only 36 km2. The rivers form part of the Sengu river system, the
largest system south of the Zambezi. There are basically three river
sub-systems in Lesotho. These are the Sengu, Makhaleng and Mohokare
(Caledon). The total river length of these rivers and their main tributaries
is about 2 160 km. The rivers have a total drainage area of about 31
000 km2 and have an estimated total runoff of 4.4 109 m3/year. Total
national capture fisheries catch per annum has been estimated at 32
t. Species caught are smallmouth yellowfish (Barbus aeneus), largemouth
yellowfish (Barbus kimberleyensis), Orange river labeo or mudfish (Labeo
capensis), mud mullet or moggel (Labeo umbratus), sharptooth [North
African] catfish (Clarias gariepinus), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss,
syn. Salmo gaidneri), brown trout (Salmo trutta), common carp (Cyprinus
carpio), largemouth bass (Macropterus salmoides) and bluegill sunfish
(Lepomis macrochirus). Trout and yellowfish provide important recreational
fisheries, of which further development is still expected. Potential
annual yield from rivers and reservoirs is estimated at 200 to 300 t.
Aquaculture production rose to an average of 20 t during the late 1970
to early 1980s, but has currently dropped to a figure bellow 10 t. Common
carp is the main farmed species. The development of cold-water aquaculture
using rainbow trout is at a very advanced stage.
The overall objective of fisheries development in Lesotho is to increase
fish production through the development of both capture fisheries and
aquaculture, with the main goal of food security and income generation.
A broad strategy for capture fisheries is to manage the fisheries in
rivers and reservoirs to ensure that they are exploited on an ecologically
sustainable basis and to maximize economic returns from the fisheries.
Aquaculture development aims at producing fish as food and generating
income from fish farming.
The focus for rural fish farming and subsistence fisheries is food security,
while that for commercial trout farming is to supply table-size trout
as well as eyed-ova for both the local and export markets. Actions taken
to implement the strategies have included the
of fish stocks in water bodies capable of sustaining viable subsistence
of capture fisheries through educating communities on resource utilization.
of rural fish farming through extension services addressing site
selection, pond construction and pond management.
Establishment of a warm-water fish hatchery for the production of
common carp fingerlings.
Promotion of recreational fisheries through stocking rivers and
reservoirs and encouraging proper catchment management.
development in Lesotho was initiated and continues to be maintained
through donor funding, due to limited local investment in the sector.
Assistance has come in the form of technical support from the Israeli
government and the US Peace Corps, and also as funds through ODA [DFID],
OXFAM, UNICEF, FAO, USCC and the World Bank, including through the Lesotho
Highland s Water Project (LHWP). WFP has also assisted in pond construction
through food-for-work.ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE NATIONAL FISHERIES AUTHORITY
PRINCIPAL LEGISLATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES
Legislation currently in force is the Fresh Water Fish Proclamation
of 1951. While the proclamation might have been good for its times,
it is certainly not suitable for present management of fisheries. It
tends to emphasize the hunting aspects of fisheries when there is a
need to cover management, conservation and culture. These shortfalls
have been noted as constraining fisheries development, and therefore
new legislation is being drafted.
INVESTMENT IN FISHERIES
Lesotho's fisheries resources are limited in terms of species and resource
abundance. Infrastructure specific to the sector currently consists
of a warm-water fish hatchery and one experimental fish farm, both of
which are government owned. Overall investment in these farms has been
very limited. The construction of ponds for rural fish farming has so
far required very little in terms of infrastructure, and so the overall
investment in the sector is currently very limited. It is, however,
envisaged that future investment will be high due to the commissioning
of the giant Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
PROJECTION OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Lesotho's population is currently 2.14 million and growing at an annual
growth rate 2.0%. Annual per capita consumption of fish has in turn
increased from 0.2 kg in 1989 to 0.9 kg in 2000. This implies that the
demand for fish increases as a result of population growth and changing
eating habits at household level. As a result, the demand for fish is
expected to increase. The expectation is, however, that the bulk of
fish consumed will be the imported canned fish, due to its relatively
Local production of fish is nevertheless expected to increase as a result
of better utilization of fisheries resources and the development of
trout farming in the highlands of the country. The expectation is that
trout farming will increase foreign exchange earnings rather than that
there will be any substantial increase in local demand for this species,
as trout is a higher priced species.
Responsibility for fisheries development, both capture fisheries and
aquaculture, lies with the Fisheries Section. The Fisheries Section
is one of the six sections of the Animal Production Division. The Animal
Production Division, Range Management and Veterinary Services, together
constitute the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), and together
with six other departments constitute the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperatives
and Land Reclamation. The department of the ministry responsible for
extension services, including fisheries extension, is the Department
of Field Services (DFS). Although technically backstopped by fisheries
headquarters staff falling under DLS, people dealing with fisheries
extension are directly under the supervision of the DFS District Agricultural
Officer (DAO). There are, however, informal linkages between different
levels of the two departments that allow technical information to flow