Factories to Reopen After Record Fish Stock in Lake Victoria

It’s June, 2018, and Nature is booming and burgeoning to a level not seen in my lifetime. Since that statement directly refutes our State Religion, which holds that “Poor Mother Gaia is Dying, Crushed by the Virus-Like Burden of Mankind“, I’ve appended a recent news story below to support it.

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2017  – Uganda: Factories to Reopen After Record Fish Stock in Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria has recorded the biggest fish stock recovery in 12 years, and Ugandan authorities are considering reopening some processing factories.

Nile perch, the most commercially successful fish species in the lake, has increased by 30 per cent and so has the stock of haplochromines, locally known as nkejje, according to the Status of Fish Stocks in Lake Victoria 2017 survey.

The survey was carried out by Uganda’s National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI), Kenya’s Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), and the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute.

The Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation, which conducts independent stock monitoring surveys in the lake every year, co-ordinated the survey.

The NaFIRRI executive director, Anthony Taabu-Munyaho, said they want to see a sustained recovery of the Nile perch and restrict harvesting of nkejje so that they act as food for the Nile perch.

Nile perch numbers currently stand at 1.12 million tonnes, up from 0.85m in 2016 and nkejje numbers are estimated at 0.73 million tonnes, compared with 0.47 million tonnes last year.

(They gave you the nkejje numbers, but carefully hedged by omitting the percentage increase between them. So I had to do the math. It’s a 55% increase. They told you the lower perch number, calling a 31% increase a 30% increase, and kept you from knowing about the larger increase – ed)

 

However, the survey did not look at the tilapia population — another major fish stock in the lake — because the equipment used to carry out the survey is restricted to inshore areas.

(Carefully obfuscates the tilapia numbers – ed)

At their peak in 2005, the Ugandan fish factories were processing nearly 36,000 tonnes of fish worth $143 million in exports, but by 2014, the volumes had declined to 14,000 tonnes worth only $88 million.

Strict enforcement

The increase in fish stock has been attributed to strict enforcement by Ugandan and Tanzanian defence forces to stop indiscriminate fishing in both countries.

Dr Taabu said the majority of the Nile perch have remained small in size — less than the minimum length of 50cm permitted by law for harvesting.

“This trend has persisted for the past four years based on the surveys, and it means fishermen are only left with a small portion of the stock to exploit. Fish around 40cm (one-year class) are not crossing into bigger size classes,” Dr Taabu said.

“We should not use destructive methods to harvest this fish, which is increasing. We should wait until they grow to the required size,” said Edward Rukuunya, the director of fisheries resources in Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture.

Dr Rukuunya added that Uganda has banned the use of imported nets and only locally manufactured nets are allowed on the lake.

Fishermen at the Ggaba landing site in Kampala said they have seen an increase in fish stocks.

(Tersely calls a 30-55% increase to record numbers “an increase.” – ed)

Betty Nyeko, a fish monger in Kampala, said the fish has been of a good size in the past two months.

(How does fish size connect to the type of net utilized? – ed)

At the beginning of the year, Ms Nyeko says she used to buy fish at Ush20,000 ($5.6), but the prices have fallen by almost half with a kilo of tilapia now going for Ush10,000 ($2.3).

Prices drop either when supply increases, demand decreases, or both – ed)\

“The lake is producing Nile Perch of 20 inches and tilapia of 11 inches,” she added.

In response to dwindling fish stock in Lake Victoria, President Yoweri Museveni deployed an army unit in January to stop all illegal fishing activities on Ugandan lakes.

The army unit has been working jointly with the Fisheries Department, the Uganda Revenue Authority, fish processors and the police to stop illegal activities on the lakes.

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