Arrangement of Sections



   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation


   3.   Director of Fisheries and other staff

   4.   Functions of Department

   5.   Honorary fisheries officers

   6.   Powers of authorised officers

   7.   Power to carry out tests and to take statistics

   8.   Release, seizure and destruction

   9.   Arrest without warrant

   10.   Obstruction of authorised officer or honorary fisheries officer

   11.   Immunity

   12.   General principles of management

   13.   Fisheries development measures

   14.   Fisheries management measures


   15.   Prohibited methods of fishing

   16.   Fish processing and storage vessels

   17.   Importation of fishing gear

   18.   Power to restrict methods of fishing

   19.   Restriction on introduction of fish

   20.   Power to control introduction and spread of fish disease

   21.   Offences related to fish disease

   22.   Emergency measures

   23.   Import of fish or fish product

   24.   Importation for scientific, educational or research purposes

   25.   Export of fish or fish product


   26.   Declaration of fisheries management area

   27.   Restriction on fishing in fisheries management area

   28.   Fisheries management plan

   29.   Fisheries management committee

   30.   Functions of fisheries management committee

   31.   Misuse of money of committee

   32.   Submission of report and minutes

   33.   Zone and village fisheries management committee


   34.   Prescribed areas

   35.   Special fishing license


   36.   Declaration of commercial fishing area

   37.   Registration of boats

   38.   Boat identification marks

   39.   Declaration of fisheries reserves


   40.   Prohibition of engaging in aquaculture without license

   41.   Application for license

   42.   Aquaculture license

   43.   Conditions of aquaculture license

   44.   Restriction on transfer of license

   45.   Environmental impact assessment

   46.   Inspection of proposed site for aquacutlure

   47.   Prohibition of interfering with aquaculture facility

   48.   Restriction on use of chemicals, etc. in aquaculture facility

   49.   Cancellation and suspension of license

   50.   Appeal against suspension or cancellation of license

   51.   Aquaculture Development Plan

   52.   Aquaculture regulations


   53.   Establishment of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund

   54.   Administration of Fund

   55.   Application of moneys of Fund

   56.   Statement of income and expenditure


   57.   Mutual legal assistance

   58.   Offences committed outside Zambia

   59.   Extraditable offences

   60.   General offences

   61.   General penalty

   62.   Offences by body corporate or unincorporate body

   63.   Forfeiture provisions on conviction

   64.   Cancellation of license or permit by court order

   65.   Conduct of prosecution

   66.   Trespass upon private property

   67.   Regulations

   68.   Repeal of Cap. 200



to provide for the appointment of the Director of Fisheries and fisheries officers and provide for their powers and functions; promote the sustainable development of fisheries and a precautionary approach in fisheries management, conservation, utilisation and development; establish fisheries management areas and fisheries management committees; provide for the regulation of commercial fishing and aquaculture; establish the Fisheries and Aquacuture Development Fund; repeal and replace the Fisheries Act, 1974; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

[18th April, 2011]

Act 22 of 2011.


1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fisheries Act.

2.   Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“aquaculture” means the cultivation, propagation or farming of fish, aquatic vegetation, or other living aquatic resources whether from eggs, spawn, spat or seed or by rearing fish lawfully taken from the wild or lawfully imported into the country, or by other similar process;

“Aquaculture Development Plan” means the Plan prepared under section 51;

“aquaculture facility” means any equipment, construction, enclosure, place or area, whether on land or in water, in which aquaculture is conducted;

“authorised officer” means the Director, an officer of the Department of Fisheries authorised by the Director and any other person authorised, in writing, by the Director;

“boat” means any water craft, whether powered or unpowered, used for, or in connection with, commercial fishing, but does not include a canoe;

“commercial fishing” means fishing which is undertaken in a commercial fishing area as a regular or occasional occupation for the supply of fish to any market or industry;

“committee” means a fisheries management committee constituted under section 29;

“community resources board” has the meaning assigned to it in the Zambia Wildlife Act, 1998;

“conveyance” means an aircraft, ship, boat, vessel, train, vehicle, carriage, cart or other conveyance of whatever kind, including the fittings and equipment of the conveyance;

“Department” means the Department of Fisheries;

“Director” means the person appointed as such under section 3;

“disease” means a deviation from the state of complete physical or social well being of an organism involving a well defined set of symptoms and ichthyology that leads to an impairment of the organism’s normal function;

“ecologically sustainable development” means using, conserving and enhancing the fisheries resources and fish habitats so that—

      (a)   the ecological processes on which life depends are maintained; and

      (b)   the total quality of life, both now and in the future, can be improved;

“Environmental Management Agency” has the meaning assigned to it in the Environmental Management Act, 2011;

“environmental impact assessment” has the meaning assigned to it in the Environmental Management Act, 2011;

“fish” means any vertebrate fish alive or dead and any part thereof, whether or not preserved in any form, and includes fin, shell fish, the young and eggs but does not include a genetically modified organism;

“fish product” means any product or part thereof, including oil, obtained by fish processing and intended for use as human food, animal feed or raw material ingredient in the manufacture of other commodities of commercial or ornamental value;

“fishing” includes any act directed at or intended for the harvesting, taking, killing or injuring of any fish;

“fishing gear” means any instrument, equipment, net, cork, buoy or other article including any part thereof used for purposes of fish finding, congregating fish or fishing;

“fisheries management area” means any fishery waters or part thereof or any geographical area, whether or not connected to any fishery water, declared to be a fisheries management area under section 26;

“fisheries management plan” means a plan for the management and development of a fisheries management area prepared pursuant to section 28;

“fishery waters” means water in any river, stream, watercourse, lake, lagoon, swamp, pond, dam or reservoir, whether natural or man-made, but does not include water in aquaria or ornamental ponds unconnected with any natural water;

“Fund” means the Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Fund established under section 53;

“game management area” has the meaning assigned to it in the Zambia Wildlife Act, 1998;

“genetically modified organisms” has the meaning assigned to it in the Biosafety Act, 2007;

“honorary fisheries officer” means any person appointed as such under section 5;

“Local Forest” has the meaning assigned to it in the Forests Act;

“National Forest” has the meaning assigned to it in the Forests Act;

“National Park” has the meaning assigned to it in the Zambia Wildlife Act, 1998;

“precautionary approach” means the principle that, if there is a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone measures to prevent environmental degradation, or possible environmental degradation, because of the threat;

“prescribed area” means such area as may be prescribed by the Minister for the purpose of this Act; and

“weir” means any fence, bank or similar obstruction erected in or across water for the purpose of taking fish, obstruction of free fish movement or migration, and includes any basket traps or similar devices therein.


3.   Director of Fisheries and other staff

   (1) The Public Service Commission shall appoint, as public officers, a Director, a Deputy Director, fisheries officers and such other staff, for the Department within the Ministry responsible for fisheries development, as shall be necessary for the proper administration of this Act.

   (2) The Director shall be responsible for the administration of this Act and the exercise of the Department’s functions as provided under this Act.

   (3) The Director may, in writing, delegate the exercise of any of the powers and functions conferred upon the Director by this Act to such authorised officers as the Director may think fit.

   (4) The Director may, in writing, revoke or vary any delegation made, under sub-section (3), of any power included in the delegation instrument.

   (5) The Minister may, by statutory order, confer any power and any duties of an authorised officer under this Act, on any public officer or class of public officers.

4.   Functions of Department

   (1) The functions of the Department are to—

      (a)   conserve, manage and develop fishery resources and waters in a sustainable manner;

      (b)   manage, develop and protect aquaculture, aquatic vegetation and fish habitats;

      (c)   take such measures as are necessary for the protection of fish stocks from the effects of pollution and from any other effects which are harmful or potentially harmful to fish stocks;

      (d)   regulate the conduct of fishing operations including aquaculture and operations ancillary thereto;

      (e)   manage, control and eliminate diseased fisheries resources;

      (f)   take appropriate measures, in consultation with the Environmental Management Agency, for the safeguard against extinction of protected species;

      (g)   issue, vary, suspend and revoke any permits and licenses for fishing, equipment used for fishing, aquaculture and other activities for which permits or licenses are required under this Act;

      (h)   ensure the fair access to fisheries resources for commercial, recreational and indigenous use;

      (i)   conduct and support fisheries research and development;

       (j)   allocate money from the Fund;

      (k)   create an environment of cooperation and consultation with other public institutions so as to enable the other public institutions to perform their functions that impact on this Act, within the context of this Act and the ambit of their respective powers and functions;

      (l)   liaise or interface with similar organs in other countries or international institutions dealing with fisheries conservation and management; and

      (m)   perform any other functions as are necessary or incidental to the carrying out of its functions under this Act.

   (2) The Director shall, in carrying out the functions of the Department, as specified under sub-section (1)—

      (a)   promote a community-based natural resource management approach in respect of fisheries management;

      (b)   facilitate and simplify the issuance of licenses and permits to those who are entitled to them;

      (c)   create a climate of cooperation with communities and organs of civil society so as to encourage them to cooperate with the Department in the application and implementation of this Act;

      (d)   ensure the uniform application of this Act;

      (e)   ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Department;

      (f)   administer the prescribed fees, fines and other payments that the Department exacts or receives in such a manner as to defray the overall cost of the Department’s operations; and

      (g)   conduct any other activity specified under this Act or that is necessary for or conducive to its implementation.

   (3) The functions of the Director are to—

      (a)   supervise and control the manner, extent and conditions of producing, harvesting, treating, transporting and selling of fisheries resources;

      (b)   ensure that economic efficiency is taken into account in developing management arrangements for fisheries resources;

      (c)   supply or support fisheries educational programs and codes of practice for fisheries management;

      (d)   examine and advise the Minister on issues affecting fisheries resources and fish habitat;

      (e)   examine and advise the Minister on the administration of this Act and make any recommendations the Director considers appropriate;

      (f)   assess fish stocks and collect statistics including details of catches;

      (g)   maintain a record of fishing boats, their masters, captains, crew and any other person working on them;

      (h)   monitor and control fishing operations; and

      (i)   perform any other functions conferred on the Director under this Act.

5.   Honorary fisheries officers

   (1) The Minister may, in consultation with the Director, by notice in the Gazette, on such terms and conditions as the Minister may specify in the notice, appoint any person to be an honorary fisheries officer.

   (2) The appointment of an honorary fisheries officer may be—

      (a)   general, so that the honorary fisheries officer is empowered to act in any part of the Republic, including any fishery waters as may be specified in the instrument of appointment; or

      (b)   limited, so that the honorary fisheries officer is empowered to act in areas of their residence including any fishery waters as may be specified in the instrument of appointment.

   (3) Subject to the other provisions of this Act and to the terms of the instrument of appointment, an honorary fisheries officer shall, within the terms of appointment, exercise the functions and perform the duties of an authorised officer.

6.   Powers of authorised officers

   (1) Subject to, and for the purposes of, this Act, an authorised officer may—

      (a)   at any reasonable time, enter upon and inspect any land, tent, conveyance, fish processing establishment, aquaculture facility, building or premises where any fish or fish product may be found or processed, or where any traps, weirs, stakes, fences or other contrivances may be found for the purposes of inspection and data collection;

      (b)   open and examine any container, conveyance, package or wrapping suspected to contain any fish or fish product, to ensure sanitary compliance;

      (c)   inspect any fish or fish product destined for import into or export from Zambia to determine whether the consignment is sanitary compliant;

      (d)   inspect and examine any conveyance which the authorized officer has reasonable grounds to believe is transporting any fish or fish product to ensure sanitary compliance;

      (e)   require the person in charge of any conveyance entering in Zambia to furnish a list of the names of all persons in the conveyance and such other prescribed information as it is within the power of such person to furnish;

      (f)   search any person whom the authorised officer has reasonable grounds to believe is carrying any fish or fish product or carrying out activities contrary to this Act;

      (g)   require any person to produce for inspection any fish, fish product, net, trap, line, poison, document, explosive, appliance, article, device or anything in relation to or in connection with which, the authorised officer has reason to believe, an offence has been committed or is likely to be committed;

      (h)   seize any fish, fish product, net, trap, line, poison, explosive, appliance, equipment, device or material in connection with which an offence appears to have been committed;

      (i)   apply or order the application of measures which are necessary or prescribed for the control or prevention of the spread of a disease;

      (j)   destroy or order the destruction at any time of any fish or fish product which is diseased, moved or used contrary to the provisions of this Act;

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