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Uganda's Black Market: Victoria Running Low on Fish

by the Fish Site Editor
19 January 2009, at 12:00am

UGANDA - Illegal trade and overfishing in Lake Victoria have led to fish scarcities in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Large quantities of illegally traded unprocessed fish, especially Nile perch and tilapia, may be finding their way to export markets in the European Union (EU), reported the East African Business Week earlier today.

According to the news organisation, the depletion of the most traded fish from the lake, the Nile perch, is also driving up prices locally, which threatens the livelihoods of close to 40 million people in East Africa. The predatory Nile perch was introduced into Lake Victoria by British colonial officers to restock the lake in the 1950s and has since wrecked environmental havoc by killing off the indigenous species in the lake.

Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have been exporting tonnes of Nile perch to Europe. Fish exports have overtaken cash crops like coffee and cotton in terms of exports earnings.

The overfishing of the Nile perch has been blamed on too many vessels on the lake and too many fishers using bad fishing methods. Uganda has over 20 fish factories exporting over 30,000 tonnes of fish annually, bringing in over 150 million dollars annually.

the Fish Site Editor