UGANDA - Edward Rukunja, the assistant commissioner for fisheries in the agriculture ministry, stated that Uganda needs to increase its aquaculture production as fish stocks dwindle, whilst opening the 8th Aquaculture Symposium hosted by the Walimi Fish Farmers Cooperative Society (WAFICOS).
“It is not a challenge for only Uganda. It is worldwide. But we can engage in these modern fish farming practices and add value to the fish we produce by processing it before selling,” Mr Rukunja said.
Currently, Uganda produces about 90 metric tons of fish from aquaculture. Added to the 450 metric tons of wild catch fish, the country produces about 530 metric tons of fish annually, reports NewVision.
Of this, about 200 metric tons are exported to regional and European markets, bringing in about $132 million (sh372b) forex annually.
“But we can’t keep depending on wild catch. Currently, there is over fishing. And although Government has tried regulating the sector by introducing Vessel Identification Plates to manage the number of fishermen on these water bodies, we need to scale up modern fish farming,” said Paul Omanyi, the principal fisheries officer in the agriculture ministry.
“We need to restock all valley dams and minor water bodies, subsidise on feeds for farmers as well as operationalise aqua parks that have already been set up country wide,” he said.
TheFishSite News Desk