Those fleeing are from the landing sites of Butiaba, Wanseko, Bugoigo andKabolwa in Buliisa, Kijangi, Kaiso, Rwentale, Runga and Mbegu in Hoima, Nkondo, Sebigoro, Kyehoro, Bugoma and Kyekapere in Kikuube, Ndaiga and Kitebere in Kagadi.
fishermen carrying fishing activities on the lake Albert are fleeing to the Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC to carry out following intensified operation and destruction of their illegal
fishing gear by the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU.
operation is targeting those with undersized boats, fishing nets, hooks and monofilament
nets among others from the landing sites of Butiaba, Wanseko, Bugoigo andKabolwa in Buliisa,
Kijangi, Kaiso, Rwentale, Runga and Mbegu in Hoima, Nkondo, Sebigoro, Kyehoro,
Bugoma and Kyekapere in Kikuube, Ndaiga and Kitebere in Kagadi.
The FPU has been conducting operations against
illegal fishing gear on Lake Albert Since August. The gear that does not meet specifications has been confiscated
and burnt by the FPU leaving fishermen stranded.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and
Fisheries, illegal fishing involve using less than five-inch fishing nets for Tilapia and
seven-inch fishing nets for Nile Perch. It also entails using fishing
that are less than 20 feet in length.
Bedijo, a fisherman at the Runga Landing Site in Hoima District says life has become unbearable for them following the operation and as a result, many fishermen have
crossed to DRC where the environment is favourable.
in; ”It is true…
out…life is difficult.”//
Byakagaba, a fisherman at Sebigoro landing site in Kikuube says the operation has
left many fishermen impoverished yet they cannot afford to buy the recommended
in; "Law enforcers on…
out…we don’t have.”//
Musinguzi, a fisherman at Butiaba Landing Site in Buliisa says the current
situation on Lake Albert is alarming and called for government intervention to avail fishermen with cheap loans so that
they can acquire the recommended fishing gear.
in;”Ntwe nka bataka…
out:…Bantu byense bagyendiri.”//
Kikuube LCV Vice-Chairperson Vincent Alpha Opio faults the FPU for not
involving district leaders in their operation adding that when the operation
started leaders were not consulted.
in; "If we are…
out… the people here.”//
Ndifula, the spokesperson of the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU says that the operations that
are ongoing are aimed at strengthening the national capacity to eliminate
illegal fishing and increase the protection of transboundary resources.
are more than 50,000 fishermen on Lake Albert who harvest more than 100,000
tons of fish per year. Overall, fishing supports the livelihood of more than
1.6 million people in Uganda. Over
the last 15 years, the fisheries sector has played an important social and
economic role in the country as one of the key foreign exchange-earners,
contributing 2.6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 12 per cent to
September alone FPU impounded and destroyed more than 300,000 pieces of illegal
fishing gear countrywide. The destroyed fishing gear includes
boats, monofilament nets, solar batteries, bulbs, hooks, and immature fish
destroyed fishing gear includes 52,575 pieces of monofilament nets, 8,457kg of
immature fish, 35,442, 10,881 illegal boats, 1,463 solar batteries and 189,103
illegal hooks among others confiscated from Ntoroko, Butiaba, Namayingo,
Kalangala, Serere, Kasese, Jinja, Buvuma, Rukungiri, Kwania, Buyende, Masaka,
Kayunga, Mpigi, Buikwe, Apac and Mukono, among others.
2017, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed Uganda Peoples Defense
Forces-UPDF soldiers to deploy on all the lakes in the country to combat
illegal fishing practices to protect the fish resources that were under threat
of depletion. The
operation comes at a time when Parliament is currently scrutinizing the
Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, 2021.
Bill was recently tabled before Parliament and seeks to consolidate and reform
the law relating to the management of fisheries products and aquaculture due to
several challenges and emerging issues in the regulation and management of the
sector which are not addressed.
the Law Revision of 2000, the Country's laws were reorganized and the Fish and
Crocodile Act became the Fish Act, which was further amended in 2011 to provide
for the establishment of the Fisheries Fund and to permit the retention and use
of fees received by the Chief Fisheries Officer from the issuance of licenses,
permits and other activities for development and management of the sector.
the government says that these amendments were not comprehensive enough to
fully address all challenges facing the fisheries sector because they only
focused on licenses, the introduction of currency points and retention of
new Bill is proposing the licensing and registration of fishing vessels,
control and regulation of all fisheries and aquaculture production activities
and practices/methods of fishing and fishing gear, establishment and regulation
of lake management organizations and gazetting of landing sites, provide for
fish breeding and regulation of fish feeds and others.
government also proposes the establishment of a Fisheries and Aquaculture
Technical Committee which will ensure that fisheries resources are managed and
also advise the Minister on effective planning, financing and coordination
of the sector. The
Committee is proposed to serve under the Directorate of Fisheries Resources.