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500 Illegal Boats Burnt on Lake Albert :: Uganda Radionetwork
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500 Illegal Boats Burnt on Lake Albert

Lt. Col Ijjo says that they also impounded several tonnes of immature fish from the fishermen that they also set ablaze.
Some of the Illegal Fishing boats set ablaze by the FPU Operatives.Photo by Emmanuel Okello.

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The Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU has burnt more than 500 illegal fishing boats and nets impounded from various landing sites on Lake Albert, Kikuube district.      

The illegal fishing gear was impounded during various operations in Kikuube this week. The operations are being commanded by Lt. Colonel Edward Ijjo.   The gears were impounded from the landing sites of Bugoma, Nkondo, Ususa, Bulinga, Senjonjo, Kina and Nsonga.

Lt. Col Ijjo says that they also impounded several tonnes of immature fish from the fishermen that they also set ablaze.

According to Lt. Col Ijjo, the operations will continue to cover all the landing sites on Lake Albert until all illegal fishing activities are stopped.

//Cue in: “The operations will be… Cue out:…some other people.”//     

He says ever since the operations against illegal fishing gear started, they have been able to destroy over 1,500 illegal fishing boats and more than 1000 Monofilament nets on the lake.  

  However, the Fishermen also accuse soldiers of using excessive force in their operations.   

Richard Baguma, a fisherman at Nsonga landing site in Kyangwali Sub County says the government should have allocated them some time to prepare and purchase the recommended fishing gear.

Margret Kunihira, also dealing in fishing activities at the Bugoma landing site says the soldiers conducting the operations are too hostile and brutal when carrying out the operations.     

The operations against illegal fishing gear kicked off at the beginning of this month in Ntoroko and Kagadi districts. The team has now moved to the Kikuube district.    Lake Albert employs approximately 56,000 fishermen 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 agricultural GDP.    

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