Fishing ban lifted on Lake Victoria, joint patrols commence
Saturday, September 14, 2002
The East African Standard (Nairobi, Kenya). By Newton Nyaranga, Kisumu
Fish stocks in Lake Victoria have replenished following a recent four-month ban on fishing, Director of Fisheries Nancy Gitonga has said.
And the three East African states Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have agreed to conduct joint patrols on the lake to curb piracy, smuggling and harassment of fishermen.
Those involved in the patrols will also be required to be in uniform for easy identification by fishermen and other lake users from the three countries. She was speaking at Bondo DC's office where she had taken a team of local and international fisheries officers and researchers.
Gitonga said her department had discovered that the ban, lifted last month, had realised its objective. She, however, observed that all necessary measures must be taken to sustain the resource. "We are realising the benefits of the ban slapped on fishing between the months of April and August," she said.
Gitonga said there could only be sustainable management and exploitation of the lake resource if the fishing community were made to understand that the lake belonged to them.
She complained that for long, the Government and other organisations have been making crucial decisions about the lake without the involvement of the fishermen.
Gitonga explained that the new measures which are meant to restore security on the lake were passed during a recent council of members meeting on cross-border conflicts.