Amolatar, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Amolatar district has registered a 95 percent improvement in fish stocks following the suspension of fishing activities in Lake Kyoga.
The government banned fishing activities on all Uganda water bodies in May 2019 to improve the fish stocks and reorganise the sector. As a result, Amolatar district has registered a 95 percent improvement in fish stocks followed by Serere with 75 percent, Nakasongola 65 percent and Kalaki and Soroti with 50 and 45 percent respectively.
The Fisheries Protection Unit Commander, Lt. Julius K. Ankunda disclosed this during a visit by State Minister for Local Government Jenifer Namyangu Kacha who was in the area to investigate complaints of torture leveled against the Unit by fishermen.
Ankunda attributed the success to the intervention of the Fisheries Protection Unit.
He explained that the suspension that was supposed to last for three months was extended to cover other districts to avoid conflicts over the lake resource.
The Amolatar LC V chairperson, Simon Peter Ongom Seydou confirmed the improved fish stocks and asked government to lift the suspension saying Nile perch has started feeding on tilapia which is counterproductive.
He was supported by the District Production and Marketing Secretary, Francis Opio Obote saying any further delays to lift the suspension will trigger domestic violence since some many sold land to buy boats with the hope of returning to the lake.
In her response, Jenifer Namyangu said opening lakes will be dependent on adherence to the set requirements which triggered the ban in the first place.
She asked the district officials to turn their anger against illegal fishing practices in order to expedite the opening process.
“Let’s go and sensitize the people. Those who are still hiding their canoes in the waters let them hand them over because they will not be allowed to use them and in any case they are the ones delaying the opening of the lake,” she said.
At least 163 boats of the recommended size of 28 feet have already been assembled at Banagala landing sites pending the resumption of the fishing activities.