11 February 2013

Uganda: Minister Calls for Protection of Fish

Photo: Stig Nygaard/Flickr
Fishing boats.

Entebbe — Uganda's state minister for fisheries Ruth Nankabirwa has urged district chief administrative officers to form Beach Management Units that will ensure that the depleting fish resources are protected from bad fishing and extinction.

The minister argues that although she has tried to fight illegal fishing on major lakes in Uganda, her efforts are being derailed in districts that lack Beach Management Units (BMUs).

"The office of the CAO in conjunction with the district fisheries officers are supposed to come up with BMUs at all landing sites.

"Its worrying that up to now some landing sites have no BMU staffs. If this continues the country may go back where it was before the national campaign on illegal fishing was launched," she noted.

Beach Management Units (BMUs) are community fisheries management Institutions, legally empowered and registered with the department for fisheries resources. Fishers are required to be registered with BMUs in order to be allowed to fish in the lakes and rivers.

They up sanitation levels at beaches, train management that implements order at landing sites.

The residents also complained about conmen who masquerade as fisheries officials blaming the ministry of not helping them eliminate them.

"These people stage illegal roadblocks to swindle money from us," said a fish trader.

While responding, Nankabirwa promised that her ministry together with Police will hunt down all the masqueraders to clear the image of the BMUs.

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