According to Pius Wakabi, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), the reduction of oxygen levels in the waters of Lakes Victoria, Kyoga and River Nile were caused by heavy winds and decomposition of sunken plant matter in the waters which reduced oxygen.
authorities in Uganda have confirmed the death of Nile Perch (Lates Niloticus) was due to low oxygen
Pius Wakabi, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry
and Fisheries (MAAIF), the reduction of oxygen levels in the waters of Lakes
Victoria, Kyoga and River Nile was caused by heavy winds and decomposition of sunken plant matter in the waters.
He says the
winds mixed up shallow and mid-level water, with that under the beds that
contains low oxygen leading to deaths of Nile Perch fish in Uganda.
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and findings were conducted at three research laboratories at the National
Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI), Government Analytical
Laboratory and the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC).
show that between September 2020 and January 2021 the weather patterns changed due to heavy winds and rainstorms. This affected parts of the Lakes Victoria, Kyoga
and River Nile in the districts of Kayunga, Nakasongola, Wakiso, Kampala and Entebbe.
This led to
mixing of water with low oxygen levels and that with high levels, but also led
to the migration of floating vegetation on the water bodies, some of which
rotted after drowning in the water and reducing oxygen in the water.
The low oxygen
levels led to largely young Nile perch weighing between 15 to 20 kilograms dying most. The heaviest casualty weighing 100 kilograms was found in Kayunga district.
preliminary investigations from the MAAIF, fish poisoning by pesticides, algae,
less absorption of oxygen by the fish through the gills and other toxins have
been ruled out.
a senior Aquatic Researcher at the NaFIRRI says Nile Perch needs at least three
milligrams (3mg) of oxygen per litre of water to survive in water. The laboratory
research findings 0.12 mg per litre of water from samples taken from Kasenyi,
Kigungu, Bugonga landing sites and behind Wagagai flowers. These are landing sites that witnessed most deaths of Nile Perch in Uganda.
He says Nile perch
is more sensitive to oxygen unlike other fish species and that is why the fish
species died most.
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Tabu Munyaho, a Deputy Director at the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization
(LVFO) says similar deaths of Nile perchhave been witnessed before in
Kisumu – Kenya and Mwanza in Tanzania between 2017 and 2019.