Rakai, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | In an effort to promote sustainable fishing in Rakai, the district fisheries authorities have started sensitizing the fishing communities around Lake Kachera and Lake Kijanebarola.
The campaign comes amidst the increasing illegal fishing practices on the two lakes.
The authorities are also giving new fishermen new instructions and guidelines as well as restricting fishing on several landing sites to improve fish production.
Joseph Mugumya, the Fisheries Officer in-charge of Kooki county, says the campaign comes at the time the district is struggling to restock Lake Kijanebarola with different fish species mainly the Nile tilapia.
He says there is an ever-growing demand for fish in and outside of the district, adding that they are cooperating with the fishermen and residents in the fishing communities to improve their intelligence and curb illegal fishing practices.
He says that they closed Kalunga landing site in Kyarulangira sub-county in an attempt to reduce the pressure on Lake Kijanebarola.
Mumugya explains that they limited the number of fishermen by advising the majority to relocate to other landing sites around Lake Kachera.
According to Mugumya, the observance of COVID-19 Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) is in some way hinders their illegal fishing operations.
He says they cannot put several suspects in the truck or boat yet they have limited resources.
The fishermen want Lake Kijanebarola restocked with the Nile tilapia and other fish species to improve production.
Wilber Kasiisi, the Nkundi LC1 chairperson says that after the closure of the landing site, they need special intervention by the district authorities for the survival of the landing site.
According to Francis Byabikyengire, the Kacheera sub-county councilor, even with the right fishing nets and gears, overfishing on Lake Kacheera may affect fish production.
He adds that much as catching many tons of fish may be profitable to the fishermen, the practice may reduce the fish population in the lake over time.
Samuel Kaggwa Ssekamwa, the Rakai district LC5 chairman told URN that they are aware of the illegal practices on the two lakes.
He adds that they are to collaborate with the police and fisheries authorities to sensitize the communities and arrest the fishermen who refuse to comply with the guidelines.