‘Appropriate illegal fishing nets from shops to save fish species’

By Wilhelm Mulinda , The Guardian
Published at 08:00 AM May 23 2024
Tilapia fishes
Photo: File
Tilapia fishes

RELEVANT authorities in Mwanza Region have been called upon to intensify patrols to control sale and use of unauthorised fishing nets to protect certain fish species from extinction.

A survey conducted by this paper recently at Kayenze, Mihama and Igombe beaches along Lake Victoria in Ilemela District showed that some fishermen use nets that have been restricted to catch immature fish species, especially the Nile perch which have high commercial value.

“The fish are being sold in local markets and supplied to processing industries to obtain fillets for export, their maws are also needed for the same purpose,” said Magesa Mukangara, a fisherman.

He said the fact that immature Nile perch are sold in different local markets such as Mbugani, Msuka and Bwiru corner evening market as well as different streets in Mwanza city was a sign that unauthorized nets are in use.

He said illegal fishing by using unauthorized gear is being used in different islands within the lake, a situation leading to depletion of fish stocks in the water body.

Mukangara noted that fishermen use illegal gear to catch immature fish and cause shortage of the aquatic species needed for supply to processing factories for export and even for consumption domestically.

He pointed out that this situation leads to overfishing of resources that could be sustainably harvested for the benefits of future generations.

“I wonder why authorities do not control the sale of illegal fishing gear in shops so that fishermen fail to get them,” he said.

Citing an example, he said that there are shops at Liberty Street in Mwanza city that sell unauthorised fishing gear, noting that if the shops are controlled, fishermen will have nowhere to get the illegal gear.