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Minister Nankabirwa: Fishermen Ferrying Immature Fish In Coffins :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Minister Nankabirwa: Fishermen Ferrying Immature Fish In Coffins

Fishermen have resorted to ferrying immature fish in coffins from the landing sites along the shores of lakes Albert, Kyoga and Victoria to ready markets, the State minister for fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa has revealed.

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Fishermen have resorted to ferrying immature fish in coffins from the landing sites along the shores of lakes Albert, Kyoga and Victoria to ready markets, the State minister for fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa has revealed.

While speaking to fishermen at Golo landing site in Mpigi district on Friday, Nankabirwa noted that many of them have started a new strategy of stealthily transporting immature fish in coffins to avoid being detected.

She says law enforcement officers are duped to believe that someone is transporting a dead person in a coffin. Nankabirwa notes that the practice is common in Nakasongola district and some other districts sharing the Lake Victoria basin. She said the fishermen involved in transporting immature fish just run away after realizing that fisheries enforcement team has uncovered their deals.

Nankabirwa said they have got reports that fishermen who export fish to the Democratic Republic of Congo transport it by bus and they connive with the fisheries. They reportedly use different routes and small pathways in the villages before boarding buses.

Last week, four businessmen were arrested after they were found transporting over seven tones of immature fish from Masaka to Kisoro district. The four people were identified as Joyce Mugabe from Masaka district, Alex Tindyebwa of Kabale district, Gerald Asiimwe and Sirasi Kaihura both from Kisoro district. They were detained at Kaguta road police post in Kiruhura district and later charged in court.

The police found one tone of immature tilapia and Nile perch packed as luggage in the buses that were traveling from Kampala to Kisoro and Kabale districts.

Ms Ruth Nankabirwa said that fishermen are supposed to export only Nile perch of 20 inches and tilapia of 11 inches but majority of the fish dealers sell immature fish. ‘’After realizing that we impound their trucks with immature fish, the fish dealers have started transporting the immature fish in buses’’ she said adding that all the buses which will be found with fish will be impounded and the drivers be charged in courts.

Minister Nankabirwa revealed that a special fisheries enforcement police will soon be beefed up to assist ‘Save Lake Victoria’ task forces at the landing sites, where illegal fishing takes place.

The officer in charge of Gollo police station in Mpigi, Gastus Musinguzi said that in the last two months the police arrested more than 30 fishermen after they were found using illegal fishing gears in Mpigi and Masaka districts.

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