JINJA —Equipment and fish gear worth UGX 1.5 billion have been handed to fish dealers operating on Lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga.
The modern equipment including milling machines, sausage machine, wood sawing machine, drying racks, life jackets, solar freezers, boat engines fishing nets for both silver fish and Nile perch, electric freezer among others were handed over to the beneficiaries by the former director of fisheries in the ministry of agriculture, Joyce Ikwaput Nyeko, at Civil Service College in Jinja on Thursday.
These part of the efforts to promote responsible fishing on lake Victoria and Lake Kyoga in program by Germany International Cooperation (GIZ).
The districts in which beneficiaries came from include Bugiri, Busia, Buvuma Island, Kalangala, Mukono, Wakiso and Kampala.
Others include Kalungu, Buikwe, Mpigi, Namayingo, Mayuge, Kyotera and Masaka.
Open access to fish stocks, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and a lack of a sufficient supervisory and monitoring system for the laws and regulations applicable to the fisheries sector add to the pressure on the resource, said Dr Michael Klingler, GIZ portfolio manager.
The results are heavy losses of fish
products and income for the local population, he added, explaining that the equipment donated to local fish dealers would support to bolster responsible fishing but also increase food security.
He also said that gigs dealers underwent a tailor-made 14 training to address gaps in the fish industry.
He said the objective was to ensure food security, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods of fishing communities
Adolf Gerstl, the GIZ project leader said the beneficiaries were trained in fish handling and processing aimed at improving household income and fight poverty.
He said beneficiaries were trained in areas of business skills, fish handling and preservation, basic financial management, environment protection financial literacy and other topics.
Gerstl adds that GIZ has teamed up with different state and private actors in improving the quality of fish products sold on both local and international markets.
Nyeko urged the fish dealers to put in practice what they have learnt and utilize the equipment to improve households’ income.
“There is no way you’re going to end poverty in all its forms if you do not engage in productive activity,” she said.
A research conducted by GIZ in 2014 indicates that lake Victoria registered an annual catch of 251,000 tonnes of nile perch valued at USD 545 million. The turnover was achieved by local fisheries groups in the nile perch value chain.
However, another research conducted by the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization – LVFO indicates that open access to fish stocks, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices coupled with lack of implementation of the set laws governing the fisheries sector in the countries of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania add to pressure on the resource which results into heavy losses on the fish products and income for the local population.
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