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18 Handed One Year Jail Sentences for Illegal Fishing

They were arrested during a joint operation mounted by police in collaboration with fisheries authorities at Bugana, Kadenge and Bisa islands located in Sigulu sub county, Namayingo district on Thursday May 1.
Court in Bugiri has sentenced 18 fishermen to one year imprisonment each for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing habits along the shores of Lake Victoria.

They were arrested  during a joint operation mounted by police in collaboration with fisheries authorities at Bugana, Kadenge and Bisa islands located in Sigulu sub county, Namayingo district on Thursday May 1.

In their possession was illegal fishing gear which included 23 undersize gillnets, 6 beach seine nets, and 14 mono filaments all valued at Ugx 13.4 million.

Some of those sentenced included Jacob Wafula, Henry Onyango, Richard Kisame, Godfrey Isiko, Tony Babalanda, Farouk Kizito and John Situma.

Prosecution proved that some of them had been arrested more than once over the same charges.

Grade one magistrate Catherine Agwello while passing judgment said that a harsh sentence would serve as a deterrent for convicts and others still at large and subsequently guarantee protection to the lake and fish which is now depleted due to such acts.

The resident district commissioner Namayingo, Samuel Mpimbaza Hashaka said similar operations aimed at wiping out illegal fishing along the shores of Lake Victoria are to be conducted.

He said a total of 56 fishermen have been arrested over the same since the beginning of the year.