Fishermen Ask For Extension as Ban Gets Closer

Recently, Mukono district authorities proposed a ban on fishing practices to allow the rejuvenation of fish stocks.
20 Jun 2013 12:47
Mukono fishermen have asked the district authorities to extend the proposed ban on fishing activities on Lake Victoria for one month. They say this will enable them to prepare and find alternative means of survival during the proposed three months ban to allow the fish stock multiply. Recently, Mukono district authorities proposed a ban on fishing practices to allow the rejuvenation of fish stocks. The ban is expected to come into effect July 01. Denis Matovu, a father of three is a fisherman at Mukono landing site. Matovu is worried how he will fend for his family, when the three months ban on fishing is finally enforced. 

He wants Mukono district and government to extend the enforcement of the proposed ban for at least one month to allow him and other fishermen accumulate some money and complete paying school fees for their children. Matovu says they plan to petition the district over the matter.  According to Matovu, the ban is likely to affect so many people including fisheries enforcement officers, food vendors, consumers and fish mongers. He says once the ban is enforced, many people who have been operating at Mukono landing site will be forced to go back to their homes because they cannot survive there with their families without any source of income. Baker Waswa is the chairperson Ggaba landing site in Kampala.

Waswa says he doesn’t support the ban the proposed ban on fishing because he does not believe it will address the issue of dwindling stocks. He attributes the reduced fish catch to illegal practices, which he says should be addressed.  Waswa says enforcing the ban in Mukono district, will not stop fishermen on other landing sites from catching immature fish. He says for effective results, the ban should cover the entire Lake so as to give room to fish to mature.  Waswa also supports the call by Mukono fishermen for an extension of one month before the ban is enforced to allow them prepare for their survival when the ban finally comes into force. 

Reports from Ministry of fisheries indicate that Uganda losses 483 billion shillings in foreign earning as result of illegal fishing activities.