James Wanzala, a fisherman at Kijangi landing site, says that the proposed suspension of night fishing operations is good. He, however, wants the COVID-19 Taskforce to come up with appropriate measures to compel fishermen not to cross to the DRC while on the lake.
“My boys had gotten used to the classroom environment which kept them busy throughout the day, but since they are still in lower primary and are yet to return to school following the covid-19 lockdown restrictions, they had resorted to fishing as a means of making themselves productive,” their father says.
Salume Akwango, a resident of Katine Sub County, says they are currently depending on fishing and vegetables because getting food is a nightmare. Robert Ewaku, another resident says that some of them have ended up chasing their wives due to the economic hardships.
Patrick Ochieng, a resident of Singila village accused some FPU officers of conniving with their civilian counterparts to confiscate their fishing nets and charge them between 200,000 and 300,000 to recover them.
The Association’s acting CEO William Tibyasa Mwesigye says that Uganda exported 2,000 tons of fish in January, a figure which dropped to 611 tons by April, denting a sector which contributes up to three per cent to Uganda’s GDP and 12 per cent to the agriculture sector GDP
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police Spokesperson told Uganda Radio Network this morning that the arrested fishermen are locked up at Kaiso police station pending transfer to Hoima Central Police station.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine Region Police Spokesperson told Uganda Radio Network on Wednesday afternoon that the deceased was fishing with his colleague, John Kyaligonza where a hippo attacked their boat causing it to overturn and capsize.
Last week the District Security Committee in Hoima and Kikuube districts suspended all fishing activities on the lake Albert waters, as a measure to control the spread of Corona virus disease COVID-19.
The security committee unanimously resolved that fishing on Lake Albert be suspended for 32 days, in line with a partial lockdown that was announced by Presidet Yoweri Museveni last week. The commitee observed that some Ugandan fishermen cross to the Democratic Republic of Congo and mix freely with communities on the other side, before crossing back to Uganda, which posses a risk of contracting the virus.
Maj. Joseph Ssebukera, the Commandant of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit on Eastern Lake Victoria, says the impounded nets carry electric current, which peels off fish skin causing it to die and float on the lake.
Akandwanaho notes that cases of illegal fishing practices have increased and over 2500 illegal boats commonly referred to as “bao tatu” and 800 beach seines have been impounded in the past seven months.
Speaking at the launch of the 2019 fish festival in Jinja district on Friday, Gerstl said using the recommended fishing gears will protect the available fish species from depletion as only recommended sizes shall surface in the market.
The weed was first seen on Uganda's water bodies in 2013, according to data at the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute and has since spread to cover parts of Lake Kyoga and Albert. According to water and fisheries experts, the giant Salvinia Molesta is worse than the water hyacinth.
During a meeting with residents at Kiyindi landing site mid this week, Lt. Katagira noted that their investigations show that several Rwandan nationals come as visitors to the landing site and never return to their country.