Uganda Promotes Aquaculture as Fish Stock in Lakes Dwindles

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The government is promoting commercial fish farming to counter the ever declining fish stocks in Uganda's waters. Sharifa Nassali, an economic researcher with the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NAFRRI), says all indicators suggest fish stocks, especially for Nile Perch and Tilapia, are on the decline. But the smaller species especially silverfish or Mukene and Nkejje are on the increase. Nassali says government is now focusing on commercial fish farming to help boost fish production. //Cue in: We're trying to # Cue out: # up the demand. National statistics indicate that Uganda produces close to 30,000 metric tones of fish, just a drop in the European Union annual quota requirement of 600 thousand tones. Last year, earnings from fish exports declined from 117 million dollars to just under 100 million dollars, contrary to earlier predictions of an increase by the government. The decline has been attributed to indiscriminate fishing and increased cost of production. The fishing industry employs an estimated six million people whose livelihood is at stake. Godfrey Kityo, a technician with Kajjansi-based Aquaculture Research and Development Centre, says fish farming is the way forward because it is going to be very difficult to replenish the declining fish stocks. The centre has domesticated new fish species, Labeo Victorianus locally known as Ningu and Barbus Alianalis known by the local name of Kisinja, ready for distribution to fish farmers. //Cue in: So far we've # Cue out: # feeds are concerned. Statistics show that Uganda has about 26,000 ponds representing less than one percent of total fish output. The declining fish stocks combined with the attendant increase in production costs led to the shutdown of five fish exporters.


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