Fish mongers in Nyabihu District are optimistic following the introduction of 3,000 new fish seeds (fish eggs) of the carp species in Lake Karago.
Previous attempts to improve fishing in the 27-hectare lake had failed due to cold climate and high levels of siltation that are as a result of soil erosion, an unfavourable condition for the tilapia species.
Fish mongers had previously appealed for the introduction of the common carp (scientifically called Cyprinus Carpio), a fish species more adaptable to a cold climate and silted waters.
The new fish seeds were bought by KOTUNYA, a fishing cooperative at Lake Karago.
“Now that we have introduced the carp into Lake Karago, we are very excited that we will now get more production,” Venant Munyabarenzi, the president of KOTUNYA, revealed recently as he spoke to the national broadcaster.
Previously, fishers could catch 600 tonnes per year. With carp, the production could more than double.
“That fact that the new fish seeds have been introduced is good news to us. Our cooperative will now be stronger and our families and children will get a more nutritious diet,” Ange Uwishakiye, a fisherwoman, said.
The cooperative has invested over Rwf10 million in fish farming on Lake Karago. Besides the fish seeds, they also acquired a motorised boat which will facilitate transport on the lake.
Albert Musirikare, the Executive Secretary of Karago Sector, encouraged fishers and local residents to improve erosion control measures on hills surrounding the lake in order to sustain fish production.