Hellen Adoa, the Fisheries State Minister, says that MAAIF has authorized its technical team to carry out a pilot study with fishermen in the three districts to prove their claims related to the co-existence of synodontis fish and other fish species.
The Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries Ministry
has authorized a pilot study on catching Synodontis fish locally known as
‘Nkolongo’ in Mukono, Buikwe and Buvuma district. The decision stems from a public outcry from fishermen
about the scarcity of other species of fish such as Nile perch and Tilapia in
the lake due to the presence of synodontis fish.
Fishermen appealed to the government to allow them to resume
catching Synodontis fish since it doesn’t mix with other fish, which eliminates
the chance of catching immature fish from the other species. Hellen Adoa,
the Fisheries State Minister, says that MAAIF has authorized its technical team
to carry out a pilot study with fishermen in the three districts to prove their
claims related to the co-existence of synodontis fish and other fish species.
2017, the Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU banned the catching of synodontis
around Lake Victoria and other water bodies citing improper use of fishing
nets. To catch synodontis, fishermen need 3.5-inch fishing nets, which were banned to
stop catching immature fish.
The fishermen are required to use 5-inch nets for
tilapia and 7inch for Nile perch. Adoa says that MAAIF has instructed
fisheries officers in the three districts to select 40 boats and for the award of certificates
for the pilot study.
//Cue in: “We have given…
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Daisy Achiro, the Assistant
Commissioner for Fisheries explains that since Synodontis fish is seasonal
the fishermen shall be required to handover their fishing gears to the ministry
at the end of the season to avoid using them to catch immature fish.
In Ugandan waters, synodontis fish usually breeds in plenty from the month of
March to August before rotating to other parts of the lake in East Africa. Achiro
says the pilot study is going to help the ministry complete research on the
fish ahead of the East African Region Minster’s Council where they expect to develop
a standard mechanism of catching synodontis fish.
Robert Migadde Ndugwa, the Buvuma District Member of Parliament who has
persistently echoed the fishermen’s outcry before parliament about catching
synodontis fish, says the pilot study is a great milestone since it will
contribute much to fishermen sustainability.
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The Kalangala District Woman MP-elect, Hellen Nakimuli and Kyamuswa MP-elect,
Moses Kabuusu have appealed to the government to expedite the study since most
of the islanders are currently grappling with life due to e scarcity of fish in
the lake. Nakimuli says the situation is harder for single mothers and
persons living with HIV.
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The Fisheries Minister has appealed to all fishing communities in other parts
of the country to remain calm and give their technical team a chance to
complete the study.