Fish is one of the most important strategic raw materials for export in the government’s agricultural sector strategic plan from the financial year 2020/21 to 2024/25, however, this is frustrated by illegal fishing activities.
As part of the efforts to implement the plan, the state Minister of Fisheries, Hellen Adoa, says they have started registering all fishermen across the country.
“We have started registering all the fishermen on the lakes across the country and it will help us identify each category of the fishermen we have and it will help us follow them.” Said the Minister of Fisheries.
The ministry further threatens to close fishing activities on some lakes if the illegality continues.
“During my field visits to various lakes in the country, I have emphasized the need to eradicate illegal fishing and catching of immature fish. All bad practices and corrupt people need to be removed from the lakes to improve natural recovery. And in December, we can demand that some lakes be closed to fishing to allow for recovery, as was recently done for Lake Kyoga.”
The Minister is also pushing for a law on fisheries and aquaculture to eradicate fishing legalities.
“I would like to inform you that we will soon have a bill on fisheries and aquaculture, which has been submitted to Parliament. We have already made progress in controlling fishing effort and tackling the illegalities on our lakes, in addition to demonstrating the profitability of cage farming through our partners and the private sector.”
The director of the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute, Winnie Nkalubo, raised concerns with the Minister over the land grabbers who want the institute’s land.
“As a research institution, we have to expand, for example, to use modern laboratories, but the fact that we are in an urban environment, there is a lot of land grabbing, and our land is not spared,” Nkalubo said.
The Minister promised to intervene in the matter as it was not the first time to hear such cases in the area.