The argue that the uncontrolled supply of undersize nets such as monofilament and Beach seine locally known as Kokota, makes it inevitable for some unscrupulous fishermen to acquire and use them.
Fishermen on Lake Albert have asked government to ban the importation of undersize fishing gears so as to efficiently fight illegal fishing. The argue that the uncontrolled supply of undersize nets such as monofilament and Beach seine locally known as Kokota, makes it inevitable for some unscrupulous fishermen to acquire and use them.
Silvio Opokarach, an elder and fisherman at Kaiso landing site in Buseruka Sub county Hoima district demands that government imposes a total ban on the manufacture, circulation or importation of the undersized nets. He says this will deny the unscrupulous fishermen from acquiring them.
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Zablon Kaahwa, the chairman Kaiso Beach Management Unit suggests that on top of banning the importation of the nets government should extend loans to local fishermen to enable them afford the recommended four inch size fishing nets.
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He says that the recommended fishing net costs over a million shillings, a price that to high for fishermen. It is not clear which factory in Uganda manufactures the illegal fishing nets as most fishermen claim to buy them in shops in Hoima and Kampala.
The calls come at a time when the ministry of fisheries has re-launched its operation against illegal fishing gears on Lake Albert. The operation was temporarily suspended a few months ago following accusations of extortion and harassment against fishery law enforcement officers.
Currently there is a new enforcement team led by one Steven Rutasharira. Aware of what befell their predecessors, the new team is a bit conscious in its operations. Patrick Tumusiime, a member of the law enforcement team on the lake says they are working hand in hand with the local authorities and the Beach Management Unit officials to ensure full transparency.
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Over the weekend, the team burnt illegal fishing gears worth over fifty million shillings at Kaiso landing site which is a collection center for all the gears impounded from landing sites in Hoima district.
fighting illegal fishing gears on lake albert
fishermen urge government to stop manufacture of illegal gears