The Minister of State for Fisheries, Hellen Adoa has listed 8 new stringent measures to regulate fishing on major water bodies in the country.
While addressing the media at Uganda Media Centre, Adoa said that with effect from 1st October 2021, all small boats below 28ft must leave the lake immediately and that all mukene (silver fish) fishers must stop using illegal nets, but rather adopt nets of mesh size 10mm and above a maximum of 7 panels of 2x100 meters with a maximum of 4 lights.
These new guidelines according to Minister Adoa, were adopted following a meeting held at the Directorate of Fisheries Resources attended by Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association, Association of Fishers and Lake Users, Commander Fisheries Protection Unit and officials from Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. Adoa said that the new measures are meant to curb illegal fishing which has resulted to a decline of mature fish in several water bodies.
“The total assessment report of 2020 showed recovery of Nile perch biomass, but majority of the fish were immature and below the recommended slot size of 50 cm and hence not available for fishing,” she said. She attributed this to continued use of illegal fishing gears which targets immature fish.
Summary of the 8 new guidelines to curb illegal fishing:
1. All small boats below 28ft must leave the lake immediately
2. All mukene (silver fish) fishers to use nets of mesh size 10mm and above a maximum of 7 panels of 2x100 meters with a maximum of 4 lights.
3. All Nile perch fishers must use Gillnets of a maximum of 3 panels (78 meshes and 90 meters)
4. All those dealing in fish maw trading must obtain it from designated points and those having fish maw licenses for trading and processing must not engage in fish gutting at landing site.
5. All fish maw leaving the landing site must be accompanied with a Fish Movement permit indicating the landing of origin, the quantity and destination processing facility
6. All fish smoking must be done at the landing site within a designated area by licensed artisanal fish processors
7. FPU to deploy at all border points to check on entry of illegal gears and exit of immature fish
8. All fish on transit should be checked at the border point by the Fisheries Inspectors and URA should not seal the containers before they are inspected