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Govt Bans Extraction of Fish Maw from Immature Nile Perch

Between 200-800 pieces of immature fish are needed to obtain 1kilogramme of fish maw and 5 to 10 pieces of Nile Perch needed to obtain 1kilogramme of fish maw from a fully grown Nile Perch. The minister says this does not give opportunity to young fish to mature leading to depletion of fish stocks.

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State Minister for Fisheries Prof. Zerubabel Nyiira Mijumbi has declared a ban on the extraction of fish maw locally known as ‘enuuni' for commercial and export purposes.

The directive is one of the measures that the Ministry of Fisheries is using to allow restocking of mature fish to increase commercial trade in the industry.

Fish maw also known as air bladder is an internal gas-filled organ that contributes to the ability of a fish to control its resilience, and thus to stay at its current water depth without having to waste energy in swimming.  Its extract is often used in the making of surgical stitching threads and anesthetic drugs among other uses. In earlier times they were used to make condoms.

Between 200-800 pieces of immature fish are needed to obtain 1kilogramme of fish maw and 5 to 10 pieces of Nile Perch needed to obtain 1kilogramme of fish maw from a fully grown Nile Perch. The minister says this does not give opportunity to young fish to mature leading to depletion of fish stocks.

The price of 1kg of fish maw rose from 40,000 in 1990s to100, 000 in 2009 and at least 400,000 as of 2013. Prof. Mijumbi says the growing demand for fish maw is leading to the increase in illegal fishing practices.

 

//Cue in: Fishermen end up…

Cue out:…immature Nile perch.//

 

Prof. Mijumbi  has directed the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to implement the directive in consultation with the ministry of Trade, District Fisheries Officers and enforcement teams deployed at different landing sites.

The fisheries sector contributes 2.5% of the national GDP with an annual value of USD 114million (342billion Shillings). China, Vietnam and Hong Kong are among the highest importers and exporters of fish maw in the World.

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