Op­er­a­tion Save the Nile Perch launched

The East African - - NEWS - By APOLINARI TAIRO Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

TAN­ZA­NIA, UGANDA and Kenya have launched an ini­tia­tive dubbed Op­er­a­tion Save the Nile Perch to in­crease the fish stock in Lake Vic­to­ria.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the three coun­tries launched the op­er­a­tion in En­tebbe in an ef­fort to save the fish — a del­i­cacy in the re­gion — from ex­tinc­tion as a re­sult of over­fish­ing.

Tan­za­nia’s Min­is­ter for Live­stock and Fish­eries Luhaga Mpina, said the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters for the Lake Vic­to­ria Fish­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion had ap­proved a $1.8 mil­lion bud­get for the ini­tia­tive, with each coun­try con­tribut­ing $600,000.

Joint stud­ies to curb il­le­gal fish­ing were car­ried out by the Tan­za­nia Fish­ery Re­search In­sti­tute (TAFIRI), Kenya Marine Fish­ery Re­search In­sti­tute (KMFRI) and Na­tional Fish­ery Re­search In­sti­tute of Uganda ahead of the launch of the ini­tia­tive.

Each coun­try is ex­pected to curb il­le­gal fish­ing prac­tices.


Re­search by the Tan­za­nia Min­istry of Live­stock and Fish­eries shows that there is an es­ti­mated one mil­lion tonnes of fish in Lake Vic­to­ria, mostly the Nile Perch val­ued at be­tween $300 and $500 mil­lion.

Cur­rent es­ti­mates show that in 2017, Tan­za­nia har­vested an es­ti­mated 300,000 tonnes of Nile Perch, Kenya about 50,000 tonnes and Uganda 350,000 tonnes.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the Min­istry of Live­stock in Tan­za­nia, Nile Perch fish­ing re­duced from 1,065 tonnes per day to 171 tonnes per day, pos­ing a threat to fish pro­cess­ing fac­to­ries in Mwanza.

Il­le­gal fish­ing af­fects young, im­ma­ture fish. The live­stock min­istry re­port said that out of 101,573 tonnes of Nile Perch har­vested in 2015, only 8,337 tonnes con­tained ma­tured fish, while the re­main­ing quan­tity was made up of pre­ma­ture fish be­low 50 and 85 cen­time­tres.

Pic­ture: File

A fish trader ex­am­ines a Nile Perch, which faces ex­tinc­tion as a re­sult of over­fish­ing.

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