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Mozambique bans fishing activities in three lakes

Fishermen in Lake Victoria, Kenya. PHOTO | File

A fishing ban has been introduced at three lakes in Northern Mozambique after the discovery of an outbreak of a suspected fungal disease affecting fish.

Fishing ban has been imposed at the lakes Chiuta, Chirua and Amaramba in Mozambique. The lakes are known to straddle the border with Malawi.

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The fish retrieved from these lakes were found to have red spots on their bodies. Which was identified as an indication of an outbreak of epizootic ulcerative syndrome, also known as red spotted disease.

Some of the fish that had been sent to a laboratory in the capital, led to the disease being confirmed.

The authorities in Mecanhelas district have sought to calm fears.

“Although the subject is under investigation, we guarantee that the syndrome does not affect humans as long as the fish is boiled well,” said Armando Maulana, the district`s director of economic activities, .

Ministry of fisheries further advised that the fish from endemic area to be cooked whether with or without red spots.

According to the UN`s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the disease has the potential to financially decimate those who rely on fishing for income.

Communities around the lakes, which are fairly large, depend on fishing and the move is likely to affect many Mozambican and Malawian fishermen.

The FAO stated that the infected fish should not be thrown back to open waters and should instead be disposed of properly by means of burying or burning.

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