Fish factory executives attribute high yields to the protection unit

(Last Updated On: 21 April 2024)

Kampala | Fish stocks in Uganda’s water bodies have increased dramatically as a result of the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit’s (FPU) outstanding enforcement mechanisms, according to the Unit and factory executives.

Lt. Col. Mercy Tukahirwa, Commander of the Unit, went on a three-day guided tour of fish processing factories in Jinja and Kampala districts. The tours ended on April 19.

According to Lt. Col. Tukajirwa, engagement with fishing communities has definitely resulted in an increase in fish stocks, as evidenced by the mushrooming fish processing factories.

She visited the Nyanza Perch factory, Lake Eco Fish Processing Limited, and Yalelo Private Cage Fish Company in Jinja.

Other fish factories visited to foster a good working relationship between the FPU and the fishing industry included Fresh Perch Factory, Nile Perch Company, and Lake Bounty Group Company in Ntinda, Kampala.

Tukahirwa thanked the fishing industry for its good cooperation and teamwork with FPU troops, noting that this collaboration has increased job opportunities and broadened the tax base.

She urged all those who benefit from this industry to take only legal measures at every stage of the fish production chain.

During her meeting with employees at Nile Perch Company, Managing Director Manoj Sreekanta praised FPU for enforcing legal fishing, which has increased fish yield.

“When raw materials (fish) increase as a result of FPU’s measures, we benefit as well,” Manoj stated.

“Our weekly fish production of about 50 tonnes is due to FPU’s work on water bodies in the exercise of their powers, which has resulted in Nile Perch and Tilapia growing to recommended sizes.”

Bitsinze Nkurunziza, Managing Director of Yalelo Private Cage, praised FPU for its water security, pointing out that daily operations have allowed them to grow more fresh fish in cages for markets in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.

“With your operations, we now produce 8000 tonnes annually and 700 tonnes monthly, compared to previous catches prior to FPU.”

Because of the profitability of the business, Bitsinze stated that they have established a presence by opening shops in Kampala, Busia, Malaba, and Mpondwe to serve the DR Congo market.

Rakesh Shetty, Managing Director of Lake Bounty Group Company, acknowledged President Museveni’s guided leadership in developing the vision to avoid environmental degradation.

By 2016/2017, the fishing industry had collapsed. Rakesh stated that since the FPU declared an emergency in 2017, fish stocks had increased by the end of 2019.

Throughout her visit, Lt Col Tukahirwa was informed that bad fishing habits, unanticipated environmental changes, and inadequate infrastructure continue to stymie the growth of the fishing industry.

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