Breaking

Fishermen Protest New Fish Smoking Guidelines

Top story
Fred Gonja, the Secretary Jatosi Landing site, says fish smoking and salting is preservation method used by low income earners. Gonja says that unless government wants to keep its citizens in poverty, there is nothing to change in the fish smoking process they currently use.
A fisherman preparing nets at Katosi landing site.

Audio 3

Fishermen at Katosi landing site Mukono district are up in arms against the new guidelines issued by Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries-MAAIF on smoking and salting fish.  

On April 11, 2019, the Agriculture Ministry Permanent Secretary wrote to Chief Administrative Officers through Ethel Kamba directing them to circulate the legal framework on smoking and salting fish compiled by the Directorate of Fisheries Resources to all stakeholders in their districts.  

The guidelines require fishermen to obtain artisanal processing license, fence fish smoking areas close to the fishing ground and that the fish must be of an acceptable size of 20 inches for Nile perch and 11 inches for tilapia.     

The guidelines also requires fishermen to catch fish using acceptable fishing gears and must be handled by medically healthy people with up to date medical certificates. It also demands that the smoking pools must have proper and independent storage facilities for fresh and smoked fish and should be free from fumes and dust.     

It also requires that fishermen setting up a smoking system must do it under the central management team with an approved plan. However, the fishermen say the guidelines were passed without thorough knowledge and ground research by the ministry on how fish smoking in handled.     

They argue that the guidelines are intended to push them out of business. Fred Gonja, the Secretary Jatosi Landing site, says fish smoking and salting is preservation method used by low income earners.  

Gonja says that unless government wants to keep its citizens in poverty, there is nothing to change in the fish smoking process they currently use.   

Luganda audio

//Cue in: “Nowulira permanent secretary…

Cue out: …kyowandikako kyekiriwa”        

He cites Katosi where they lack water at the fish loading yard, freezers for fish storage and icing plants at any gazetted landing sites.      

Luganda audio

//Cue in: “Olwareero gavumenti bweba…  

Cue out: …kwelwanako tujja kwelwanako”//  

Devis Ssegirinya Ssebowa, the LC I Chairperson Kizaalabuganda ward in Katosi, says dealers of smoked fish have found hard life ever since they were stopped from transacting business.  

Luganda audio

//Cue in: “Bakoseddwa nyo kubanga…

Cue out: …kubanga kyo kyebamanyiira”//

The guidelines are designed as interim measures until the ministry comes up with amendments of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Act.    

Images 1

Keywords

Entities