Zambian Fish - A Major Income Earner For Many Zambians

Zambian fish is abundant in any of the country's five natural lakes and several of its rivers. Six percent of the country’s surface area is underwater. The country boasts of more than 150 species of fish.



On average, fish production in Zambia rallies between 70,000 and 85,000 tonnes per annum. Fish farming is relatively under developed and does not contribute much to the total annual catch. Zambian fishing is a major income earner for many people. The fishing sector is also a major employer directly and indirectly.

Fish Markets

Most of the catch is brought to the markets in urban areas in dried form. Fish is abundant in the country’s markets because it’s affordable to most people and it's easily sourced in all parts of the country. Fish is a very cheap source of proteins for the majority Zambians.

The most common fish on the market include Buka Buka, Imbowa, Imilonge, Silver barbel, Kapenta, Imintesa, Iminsenga, Utubombola, Amatuku and others.

Fishing Grounds

Most of the country’s fishing grounds are along Lake Tanganyika, Lake Mweru and Lake Bangweuru. Lake Bangweulu, is surrounded by a vast swampy region.

fishing on the zambian riverFishing On The Zambian River

Fishing is also done on the man-made lakes such as Kariba and Itezhi tezhi. Lake Kariba is a large reservoir formed by Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River and Lake Itezhi tezhi is on the Kafue River.

The major rivers are the Zambezi River, the Kafue River, Luangwa River and the Luapula and Chambeshi rivers.

Wetlands, including floodplains, swamps, and mudflats, make up about 6 percent of Zambia’s area and they provide a good source of fish for the subsistence fisherman and also as a means of livelihood.

Sport Fishing

Tiger fishing is the most popular form of sport fishing in Zambia and the Zambezi River is the most popular Zambian fishing destination. But sport fishing is also common on Zambia’s big lakes like Lake Kariba and Lake Tanganyika.

Sport Fishing On The Zambezi RiverSport Fishing On The Zambezi River
(Courtesy - Royal Zambezi Lodge)

Most lodges and guest houses along the Zambezi River and on the shores of Lake Kariba offer fishing safaris or fishing holidays. Some of them are:

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