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Stop the importation of illegal fishing gears, fishermen warn government

11 May 2024, 3:53 pm

Angry fishermen. Photo Sarah Ejang.

Fishermen have asked government to stop the importation of bad fishing gears if they want them to use recommended nets.

This was reached at on 4th May 2024 when state minister for fisheries was meeting with fishermen at Bangala landing site in Namasale sub county, Amolatar District.

Fishermen argue that despite the government’s efforts in combating illegal fishing in Lake Kyoga, the market is still awash with illegal fishing gears that entice them to buy.

They therefore called upon the government to enforce the law first on these illegal gears like nets so that sanity is realized in fishing.

They appealed to government through state minister for fisheries Hon. Hellen Adoa to avoid banning and extortion of their nets if they are still in the market.

Ebil Walter, one of the fishermen, told the minister that the silver nets that they want them to use are not compatible with Lake Kyoga.

Ebil asked her to revise on the usage of the rightful nets for catching silver fish.

The fishermen also asked government to weed off the water hyacinth for they are losing their nets in the weed hence making fishing very difficult.

In response to removal of water hyacinth Minster Adoa confirmed signing an agreement with Egypt in a project called aquatic weed control.

Minister Hellen Adoa (C) and WMP Amolatar District (L). Photo Kenneth Okello.

“I am appealing to you the fishermen to be united and present a good proposal to the president when I meet him I will also bring to his attention the challenges of net among others.”

However, the area woman Member of Parliament Hon. Agnes Atim Apea asked the minister for fisheries on why fishermen whose illegal fishing gears were destroyed have not yet been compensated as the law states beside her effort of writing many letters toward the course.

WMP Amolatar District Dr. Agnes Atim Apea.

She also confirmed to the fishermen that his excellency of recent in Dokolo talked of meeting fishermen urging the minister to prepare the meeting as first as possible to avoid more killings of fishermen on Lake Kyoga. “I am requesting FPU to stop violating the rights of fishermen,” Hon. Agnes Apea added.

Whereas chairperson Local council five Geoffrey Ocen Kiring asked for the removal of detach from Bangala landing site in Namasale where the recent killing of a fisherman occurred.

He added that UPDF is not stopping any illegal fishing rather participating in the practice. He advised that they be removed from the lake and be replaced by fish guards.

LC 5 Amolatar district Geoffrey Ocen.