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Nile Perch, Tilapia Fish Diminishing

UGANDA - Small fish are taking over Lake Victoria as the Nile Perch and Tilapia fall in numbers according to official sources in Uganda.

Levi Muhoozi, the national project coordinator of the Implementation of Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) told The New Vision: "The average Nile Perch biomass has reduced from 1.2 million tonnes in 1999-2001 to 550,000 tonnes in 2005-2008.

"The quantities of small fish (mukene and nkejje) are increasing and contribute more than 1.5 million tonnes, about 75 per cent of fish quantity in the lake."

He attributed the situation to illegal fishing and proposed measures like controlled fishing to reverse the trend, The New Vision said.

The Tilapia and Nile Perch are popular and people indiscriminately catch them, resulting into a decline in their numbers, Muhoozi observed.

Levi Muhoozi made his comments during a research review and planning workshop at the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute in Jinja.

Participants urged governments in the three East African member states to enact stringent laws to protect the lake.

The Government, said Dr. Wilson Mwanje, the head of aquaculture in the agriculture ministry, was ready to fund the development of rural aquaculture and support farmers in all ways.

View The New Vision story by clicking here.