President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has warned fishing communities in the country to stop illegal fishing which he says is depleting fish stock in different lakes in the country.
The President in a message delivered by the Prime Minister of Uganda Robbinah Nabbanja during the belated International Fisheries day held at Serere District Headquarters on November 25, 2022 said, catching immature fish is a bad habit which must stop.
He also accused the fisheries officers for not doing good to prevent illegal fishermen from depleting the lakes.
In September 2022, President Museveni returned the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, 2021 to Parliament, proposing that the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) be allowed to join the police on the surveillance team to fight illegal fishing on the country’s major water bodies.
The army’s involvement is one of the suggestions that the President made before Parliament first passed the Bill on May 3.
Mr Museveni wants Clause 13 of the Bill to include UPDF on the Fisheries Monitoring Control and Surveillance Unit established under the Directorate of Fisheries Resources.
The President also wants Parliament to review Clause 4, which defines the licensing officer as the chief licensing officer.
The Bill also seeks to repeal the colonial Fish Act of 1951 amended in 2011 to bring regulation of the industry up to-date with current challenges.
Meanwhile the Lawmakers in September rejected a proposal by President Museveni to include the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) in the Fisheries and Monitoring Unit, under the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, 2021 to prevent illegal fishing.
Currently fisheries department is benefiting over 8 Million Ugandans both directly and indirectly while 17 Million (69%) of total population of ugandans consume fish annually.
Hellen Adoa State minister for fisheries advised farmers in Uganda to engage more in fish farming, saying it complements other efforts geared towards fighting household poverty.
Adoa says the fish sector is a very lucrative farming activity that can help farmers earn extra household income.
Both MPs Fred Opolot Pingire County, Patrick Okabe Serere county encouraged Ugandans to form groups and engage I commercial fish farming.