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Ugandan Scientists Fishing for Ban

UGANDA - Fishermen and marine scientists want a seasonal ban on fishing on Lake Victoria in order to allow fish to breed.

Isaac Mukobe, of the Fisheries Resources Research Institute, said: “We shall have more fish once the lake is closed during the breeding season.”

Mukobe said once Parliament approves the proposal, the suspension would check over fishing that is threatening to wipe out commercially important species like the Nile Perch, wrote Gerald Tenywa in The New Vision.

According to the reporte Mukobe was speaking during a conference organised by the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala yesterday.

The theme of the conference, which was attended by over 300 participants who include fisheries officials, processors, fishermen and MPs, is “Fish for the future everyone’s responsibility.”

Walusimbi, a fisherman at Ggaba Landing Site, said much as the ban would affect fishermen who do not have alternative income-generating activities, it would replenish the fish population.

The New Vision reported that in a separate interview, Richard Kimbowa, the programme officer for Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development, said: “The lake is the life of fishermen and a ban would have to be implemented together with other steps like promotion of aquaculture in a more aggressive manner and scale.”

He added that there was need to stop deforestation, pollution of the lake and destruction of the catchment areas like wetlands.