Jesca Namubiru, a resident and fish dealer at Katosi says life at the landing site is now becoming too hard for them due to the scarcity of Nile perch and tilapia that used to be their major source of income. She says that whenever the season for the Cynodon could come, it could boost their income as well.
Fishermen at Katosi landing site wants the government to lift the
ban on catching of Cynodon Dactylon Flying Fish commonly known as Nkolongo.
In 2017, the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU banned catching of the fish around
Lake Victoria and other water bodies citing improper use of fishing nets.
To catch Cynodon, fishermen need 3.5-inch fishing nets which the unit abolished
and recommended 5-inch nets for tilapia and 7inch for Nile perch to avoid
illegal fishing specifically catching of immature fish.
Noah Kizza who has practised fishing for over thirty years says Cynodon
contributed much to their sustainability.
“Whenever Cynodon dactylon flying fish multiplies in the lake it scares
away other species leaving most of the fishermen almost catching nothing for
//Cue in: “Olwaleero ekintu…
Cue out: …bagikirize okugivuba”//
Jesca Namubiru, a resident and fish dealer at Katosi says life at the landing
site is now becoming too hard for them due to the scarcity of Nile perch and
tilapia that used to be their major source of income. She says that whenever
the season for the Cynodon could come, it could boost their income as well.
//Cue in: “Akenyanja ako…
Cue out: …kuno kwebanzala”//
The Mukono Fisheries Officer Rhomulus Mulumba says that rather
than ban the fish species, the government should come up with a standard
procedure of guiding fishermen on how to catch the fish.
“When other species try to turn it into its prey, a Cynodon sprays its hard
spines against them. So common species currently such as the Nile perch have
adapted them as enemies making it hard to co-exist in the lake. This means that
fishermen are left to bank on nothing; Nile perch get scarce and it is also
illegal to catch the Cynodon.” Mulumba explains.
Mulumba also explains that Cynodon dactylon flying fish is seasonal and keeps
moving from different parts of the lake to another depending on weather
patterns At Katosi, Cynodons are common from March to May.
The Mukono Residents District Commissioner Fatuma Ndisaba Nabitaka has
requested fishermen to make a formal report explaining how the ban has affected
them at landing sites and also outline possible means they can use to catch the
flying fish without involving in illegal fishing.
She has also warned them to avoid catching the said fish without
authorization to avoid clashing with the army.