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Uganda issues tough measures on small pelagic fishing

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small pelagic fish

KAMPALA, UGANDA | Xinhua | Uganda on Tuesday issued stringent measures on the fishing of small pelagic fish species in all the East African country’s water bodies.

Hellen Adoa, the minister of state for fisheries, told reporters here that capture of small pelagic fish will only be done using the scoop net fishing method and this should be carried out during the dark days of the month. Adoa said fishing of small pelagic fish during daytime or when there is moonlight is banned immediately.

Fishers, according to the minister, had resorted to the “hurry up” method, which uses large fishing nets spreading over large areas and targeting all species of fish on their way and other important diversity.

She also announced that fishing of small pelagics by unauthorized foreigners is banned and those found engaging in the practice must be apprehended and dealt with according to the law.

“All responsible departments of fisheries resources both at the center and local governments and enforcement agencies are instructed to take note of these measures and take appropriate action, including but not limited to further public sensitization and enforcement,” she said. “My ministry takes sustainable exploitation of this fishery very seriously. This is because we wish to protect and enhance the livelihoods of more than 60 percent of the fishing communities that depend on this fishery.”

According to the ministry, the small pelagic fishery forms one of the main commercial fisheries of the country and the East African region. It contributes more than 70 percent of the total fish caught in Uganda annually and employs more than 60 percent of the fishing communities who are involved in various activities along the fisheries value chain.

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