Uganda: 'Demarcate fishing zones to safeguard breeding areas'
Nabukeera appealed to government to present before Parliament, a clear policy on usage of Ugandan waters including fish farming
The Fisheries Ministry should intervene and revise the breeding zone at Bulago Hotel and the breeding space that fishermen are supposed to fish from
The Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa has called for setting up of beacons on Lake Victoria that demarcate no-fishing zones.
According to Nankabirwa who is a former Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Bulago Island covers a lacustrine area where fishermen around the area are prohibited from accessing.
“This area is in the statutory instrument and is supposed to be protected. Safeguarding breeding areas is key because they are no-go areas. We should help the Fisheries Minister to put the beacons on the lake so that fishermen respect the breeding areas,” Nankabirwa said.
She made the comments on Wednesday, 10 August 2022 while responding to concerns raised by Mukono Woman MP, Hon. Hanifa Nabukeera on the limitations on fishing activities around the islands.
Nabukeera said that fishermen living on Koome Island in Mukono district have been barred by personnel from Bulago Hotel from fishing which has affected their livelihoods.
“My fishermen are starving yet that is their only source of income. The Fisheries Ministry should intervene and revise the breeding zone at Bulago Hotel and the breeding space that fishermen are supposed to fish from,” she said.
Nabukeera appealed to government to present before Parliament, a clear policy on usage of Ugandan waters including fish farming.
Hon. Lulume Bayigga (DP, Buikwe County South) noted that the shores where fishermen are supposed to carry out their activities have been taken over by rich people who carry out cage fish farming.
“How can the poor people who live at the shores eke out a living when they have been invaded by these rich people? Kiyindi is lined with fish cages yet locals get arrested and taken to Kitalya prison,” Lulume Bayigga said.
Nankabirwa cited the aquaculture policy where scientific research must be carried out as a requirement by the East African Lake Victoria Organization, before they are given a license to do aquaculture.
“Around Koome, there are 420 cages officially licensed and the area is demarcated in a way that the cages are not placed where the waters meet otherwise the fish in the cages would be affected,” said Nankabirwa.
She added that the aquaculture policy was agreed upon by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in a bid to raise revenue.
She also said the local fishermen should be guided on how to fish so that they do it in the right manner.
The State Minister for Fisheries, Hon. Hellen Adoa requested the House for time to gather details on the matte before reporting back.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.