East Africa: Lake Victoria Faces Intensive Overfishing

Mwanza — LAKE Victoria requires immediate measures to rescue some species of fish now disappearing as a result of intensive illegal fishing that if remains uncontrolled, the future of fishing industry also within the country and East Africa is at risk.

In a brief that was made by Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Adam Malima to the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Mr Abdallah Ulega on the progress of fishing activities in Lake Victoria, over the weekend, he further said stern measures must be taken.

He noted that besides the intensive illegal fishing, the fishmongers also use monofilament net and less than 50 centimetres fishnets as well as solar powered bulb with 90 watts, which emit damaging heat to the species, saying this must come to an end.

He also briefed the deputy minister on the special conservation programme designed by Mwanza Regional Office in Lake Victoria, saying: “Now Nile Perch below 50 cm are being sold everywhere in markets and this must be addressed.”

To address the situation, the RC Malima called upon the fishermen to be the main agents in changing theirs methods and systems in the fishing industry in Lake Victoria.

Equally, he urged them to use modern fish storages and processing, which keep fish fresh and prevent unnecessary losses before transportations to the markets.

On his side, Mr Ulega noted that Lake Victoria contributes about 80 per cent of all fishing revenue to the government and over 60 per cent of employment opportunities in Mwanza Region.

“We won’t allow the Lake Victoria to be empty, Fishing Officers must be strict to rule and regulate on mitigating illegal fishing, overall we need collaboration from all administration mechanisms and the citizens to end this self-damaging malpractice” said Mr Ulega.


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