12 June 2017

Burundi: Fish Protection Is Emergency, Says Maritime Authority

On the occasion of the celebration of the week dedicated to protecting the environment, from 6 to 11 June, the technical commission in charge of securing lake navigation burned tools forbidden to use in fishing.

On June 6, the technical commission in charge of securing lake navigation patrolled along Tanganyika lake shore. The commission caught people fishing, without authorization, in areas where fishing activities are prohibited. They also burned and destroyed some tools which are not allowed to use in fishing.

Gérard Nyandwi, Director General of maritime, port and railway authority and head of the technical commission in charge of securing lake navigation, says the commission is sensitizing people to the protection of fish. "Some people are fishing in zones where fishes lay their eggs. By capturing eggs and small fishes, they are destroying a multitude of fishes that would result from them. Experts say one kilo of those eggs equal one tone of fishes in only six months," says Nyandwi.

Fishermen use instruments that are not allowed in fishing such as mosquito nets and others and which are dangerous as they catch small fishes including eggs. "If eggs are taken away, we cannot hope to find fishes anymore. Some perpetrators of such acts are detained by the police and will have to be fined before they are released", he says.

The commission is determined to continue to protect lakes in order to increase fish production. The law on fishing in Burundi was adopted last year. The commission is waiting for the decree from the Ministry of Agriculture to implement it.

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