African Parks has expressed fears over the extinction of Mpasa fish in the country amid increasing illegal gold mining activities taking place along the Bua River.
According to African Parks Country Representative Samuel Kamoto, the process of extracting and moving rocks along the river is threatening the migration of the fish which usually breeds along the River.
“Mpasa is an important economic fish of the country and already Mpasa is threatened because Mpasa has been failing to swim upstream to get to the Park where it normally spawns and then swim back to the lake that’s the biological nature of this fish.
So what happening at the moment is that the Mpasa cannot swim upstream to go and spawn in the Park because the way to it has been blocked by the activities of gold mining and other illegal fishing practices,” explained Kamoto.
Kamoto added that Bua is the only river in the country which the specie has its nesting grounds and with rising activities of illegal gold mining, the life of the fish is under serious threat.
According to Kamoto, the mining activity is attracting people from far places.
For instance in Nkhotakota, the villages near Bua River have been swamped by new people coming from Kasungu, Salima and Ntchisi and some parts of the Northern Region not to mention the foreigners that come to buy the gold.
Mpasa breeds in specialised places in the river and disturbing the breeding habitat will have direct impact on its population in the subsequent years.