THE Council of Ministers in the Lake Victoria Fishing Organisation (LVFO) has approved a total 1.8m US dollars (about 4.1bn/-), to curb illegal fishing in the second largest fresh water body in the world.
Each member country of the organisation including Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda will contribute 600,000 US dollars to curb illegal fishing of the Nile perch, which is on the verge of extinction due to rampant illegal fishing in the lake.
Speaking in Entebbe recently, the outgoing Chairperson of the Council who is Tanzania's Minister for Livestock and Fisheries Development, Mr Luhaga Mpina, said the allocated funds will boost the fight against illegal fishing in the lake. "Tanzania has already initiated efforts to curb the challenge since the start of this year and the results are impressive," the Minister remarked.
Minister Mpina calledupon other member countries surrounding Lake Victoria to take action and implement recommendations put forward by research institutions in the region towards curbing illegal fishing in Lake Victoria. The studies were carried by the Tanzania Fishery Research Institute (TAFIRI), Kenya Marine Fishery Research Institute (KMFRI) and National Fishery Research Institute of Uganda.
Minister Mpina reminded other leaders of the council to educate their people on laws governing the lake from other countries so as to avoid disturbances which may be brought about by ignorance of the laws.
"It is my hope that all countries surrounding the Lake will adhere to the law in preserving it for sustainable fishery," Mr Mpina remarked. The Minister was crystal clear that days were numbered for illegal fishing in the lake, explaining that leaders in the region have agreed to check the vice.
"Tanzania has registered a number of successes in the fight against illegal fishing since we established operation Sangara this year," he explained.
The outgoing Executive Secretary of LVFO, Mr Godfrey Monor, said member countries of the council have agreed to form the East Africa Fisheries Organisation (EAFO) to curb illegal fishing in the region.