Fishermen want tougher laws on illegal fishing

Kalangala-Fishermen belonging to Kalangala Fisheries Association have called upon the government to formulate new and tougher laws against illegal fishing on Lake Victoria.

While speaking during a meeting with MPs of the Parliamentary Agricultural Committee last Friday, Mr Patrick Musenda, the chairman of the association, said currently the laws are too kind to those engaged in illegal fishing.

“If a person is taken to court for being in possession of immature fish, he pays only Shs20,000 as fine. This money is not painful to pay. It does not teach anybody a lesson,” Mr Musenda said.

According to him, the people caught in such activities should be sentenced to seven years in jail so that they can act as examples for others to learn from.
The Kalangala deputy fisheries officer, Mr Wycliff Mbaleeba, asked government to control the influx of people using Lake Victoria for fishing activities.

He said following an increase in fish catches in the past six months from 60 tons to 80 tons, too many people have flocked the district to engage in fishing which poses the risk of depleting the fish stocks in the lake.

Early this year Kalangala passed a law requiring each fishing boat owner to pay Shs10,000 per month to facilitate the district fisheries department to step up the fight against illegal fishing.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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