More immature fish
Thursday, November 21, 2002
More Immature Fish
New Vision (Kampala)
November 21, 2002
Posted to the web November 21, 2002
The fishing sector faces a serious problem, involving the increase of young fish species being caught in Lake Victoria.
A total of four tonnes of fresh immature Nile Perch worth sh10m was impounded at the Ntonje landing site in Mukono district last week.
The district has already set up a fishing task force to enforce the laws that deter fishermen from using illegal nets and catching young fish.
The team led by RDC, Charles Mubiru, district security officials and Dr Fred Mukulu, the Director for Production and Extension services, visited several landing sites, which are notorious for illegal fishing. These are Zzinga, Ziru, Ntonje and Bugaya.
The team closed Ntonje landing site after it was recovered that most fishermen in the area used big fish seine nets and netted young fish.
Some fishermen complained that they are being harassed and their boats burnt by Marine patrol units in the area. one tonne of immature fish is handled daily on most of the fishing islands in the district.
Mukono district secretary for production and extension, Dorothy Mpiima said that the exercise is aimed at revamping illegal methods in the district.
"We have initiated a taskforce to see that fishermen are deterred from using illegal means on the lake, because we shall have a problem with exporting our fish abroad," she said.
She said that the fish species face extinction if the authorities do not contain the situation. Previous reports indicate that the country's fish exports recovered from a dip when the Nile Perch catches in the lakes fell due to long dry spell.
Dr. Fred Mukulu said that district has so far 250 fishing landing sites and they face closure if the fishermen do not halt illegal activities on the waters.
"We shall close all of them if the fishermen do not deter their illegal fishing activities soon. The task force will decide the fate of most of those landing sites engaged in the activity," he said.
Dr. Mukulu said that Government is committed to help fishermen by helping them get markets.
He said that in order to motivate and boost them, the task force has initiated best prize for fisherman who will not use illegal fishing methods.
"We want to see that fishermen halt using illegal methods because they will destroy our market abroad. We have set up prize for the best fisherman in the district" he said.
Mukulu appealed to fishers to pay all their licenses and taxes as stipulated in the law.
He said that some fishermen have failed to pay taxes and dodge whenever fisheries officers visit their islands.
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