Illegal Fishing on the Rise in Nebbi

2672 Views Nebbi, Uganda

In short
Lack of funding for the fishing department in Nebbi district has led to an increase in illegal fishing in Nebbi district as enforcement officers fail to inspect landing sites in the district.

Lack of funding for the fishing department in Nebbi district has led to an increase in illegal fishing in Nebbi district as enforcement officers fail to inspect landing sites in the district.
 
Nebbi district has two major landing sites located in Panyimur and Packwach which supply the whole of West Nile, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and they are located far away from the district headquarters.
 
The district fisheries Officers Lonard Nyakuni says that the sector cannot afford regular inspection because it is expensive and that the district spends over 1.5 million shillings in one operation only.
 
He also complains that the department is also under funded and yet organising an operation needs them to hire boats from the private sector which the district can afford once in a year hence leading to rise in illegal fishing.
 
Nyakuni says that currently there are a lot of immature fish in the market due to increase in number of illegal fishing nets and gears, and under nets which is causing depletion of some of the fish species in the lakes.
 
He revealed that in their last operation they impounded over 1000 illegal fishing gears in Pakwach and Panyimur landing sites and burnt them but since then the number of illegal fishing nets has greatly increased since they carried out the operation once last year.
 
But Jeres Akumu a fish trader in Nebbi town says that due to the reduced number of mature fish in the lakes, most of the fishermen have resorted to using illegal fishing gears and nets and they buy because the immature fish are cheap and easy to sell.
 
But the district production officer Doctor Okwir Anthony said that there is need to sensitize the community on the dangers of using illegal fishing nets and the sector also needs a boat for carrying out operation in the water because hiring it is expensive.