This paper deals with conservation issues and threats faced by the inshore fishery of Lake Kariba, where human actions such as poaching and introduction of alien species are threatening the indigenous species. Lake Kariba is a Man-made Lake that was created in 1956–58 and has undergone a number of changes from a eutrophic stage in its early years to the present oligotrophic state. Tied up with this were changes in hydrology, the initial filling phase being marked with high fish-yields, then the booming of the pestiferous Salvinia molesta, until 1971 marked the end of evolutionary changes and the beginning of the decline in nutrient status of the Lake.
One of the two fisheries of Lake Kariba is described: the inshore fishery, which is the richer and more interesting in terms of diversity and conservation. This fishery is exploited by artisanal fishermen who use ‘primitive’ means. The fish species involved are vulnerable, as they take a long time to grow and have generally a low fecundity as compared with the ‘sardines’. The famous sport-fish Hydrocynus vittatus (Tigerfish) is, in particular, threatened by human activities.
Fishery regulations and management laws are implemented by LKFRI — a Zimbabwe Government institute under the Department of National Parks & Wildlife Management. Whereas the regulations appear sound and reasonable, economic hardships and human population growth in the hinterland have caused changes in the attitudes of people. Fishing is an easy source of revenue, but policing it has become costly and difficult.