FPU impounds illegal boats, nets and 300kgs of immature fish

The Fisheries Protection Unit-FPU has recovered illegal fishing gear including 2 boats and 20 nets in operations covering Kalangala and Wakiso District on Lake Victoria.

The force also intercepted over 300 kilograms of immature fish that was bound for Kampala from Kalangala District.

According to the FPU Head of Operations in Wakiso District, Lt. Julius Byamukama many fishermen have stubbornly refused to comply to the set guidelines citing absence of stringent laws.

“We are let down by the penalties given to culprits by the courts of law, this makes it hard for these vices to stop, fishermen have always failed to reform after paying small fines that are not equivalent to their crimes.” Byamukama intimated

Byamukama revealed that regardless of the many obstacles, FPU is not going to relent and will continue to intercept illegalities until sanity is restored on the lake.

According to Sarah Namusoke Ddungu who is the chairperson for Bugonga Landing site revealed that it is now commonplace for fishermen to sneak into the lake in the dark which in turn causes major losses to the industry.

Ddungu said that for every immature Nile Perch harvested, over UGX 150,000 is lost and depletes lake resources.

In 2017, President, Yoweri Museveni announced a nationwide ban on fishing activities on Ugandan water bodies to replenish the dwindling fish stocks resulting from illegal practices.

It followed a huge drop in Uganda’s fish export earnings because of dwindling stock, which forced several fish processing plants to close.

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