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Fishing Fees Stay Unchanged as Minister Warns On Illegal Activities

License holders for the period just ended, will have to first clear all arrears they have before being considered for the new license. According to the guidelines, each application is done for a particular fish species and these cannot be switched.
27 Jan 2022 17:22
Sport fishing in Uganda; Cost of License remains unchanged

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The government has maintained the costs of acquiring licenses in the fisheries sector for the period 2022-2023 as efforts to maintain order and sustain the industry continue. 

The license fees are categorized according to the size and type of the water body, the size and type of the fishing vessel as well as the kind of other business related to fishing that the applicant intends to involve in. 

The category of the water bodies includes large lakes, smaller lakes, swamps, rivers, and dams. The licensing guidelines are also aimed at streamlining the industry operations and preventing exploitation of the fishing communities by shrewd individuals and government officials. 

They are based on the international best practices provided for under the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries as well as local legislation like the Fish Act 2000 and the Fish (Fishing Regulations) 2010. 

The licensing round will continue till March 31 and in April the enforcement will begin.  The State Minister for Fisheries Hellen Adoa says that after that time, no one will be allowed to go fishing without a license. 

There have been allegations of violators of the guidelines who catch or trade in immature fish, trade-in fish maw without a license, among other practices not allowed. These, it is reported, are either sponsored by high-ranking officials or have connections with the state and act with impunity. 

But the minister vows she will crack down on them, revealing that they are some under investigation.        

//Cue in: “Within the two 

Cue out: …immature fish.”//     

License holders for the period just ended, will have to first clear all arrears they have before being considered for the new license. According to the guidelines, each application is done for a particular fish species and these cannot be switched. Minister Adoa says this was done to ensure that fishermen do not mix up or misuse fishing gear for the different species.  

//Cue in: “Some lawbreakers… 

Cue out: …one million.”// 

Licensing is open to both Ugandans and non-Ugandans, who must present either their National Identity Cards or Passports respectively, as well as a tax identification number. Licenses for vessels on lakes Victoria, Kyoga, Albert Edward, George, and Wamala will cost 100,000 Shillings, while those on smaller or minor lakes like Nakivale will pay 50,000 Shillings. 

To fish in swamps, rivers, and dams, one will pay 25,000 Shillings. However, irrespective of where the vessel is operating, foreign-owned ones will pay 2 million shillings. The licensing guidelines also provide for the fees for licensing of fish transport trucks and containerized vessels, ranging between 250,000 and 750,000 shillings, depending on the tonnage. 

Fishmongers and artisanal processors will pay 50,000 Shillings, while large-scale processors, specifical dealers in fish-maw will pay half a million. Other businesses to be licensed under these guidelines include fishnet manufacturers and importers, fishing boat builders and repairers, recreational or game fishing, among others. 

The guidelines also limit the number of fishing vessels or licenses on the lakes, but no one person or company will be given multiple licenses until all the applicants are served and there are still slots remaining, according to the minister. 

//Cue in: “Only thirty… 

Cue out: …to come.”//   

The licensing exercise and other measures are aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the resources, improved quality or size of the fish, and in the end, make the industry more valuable. It is also aimed at promoting the export of the commodity. 

For the year 2019/2020, the ministry had a good growth in the fish stock, which in turn led to better export earnings of 177 million dollars, (about 630 billion shillings), while export volumes grew from 18,000 tonnes to 26,000 tonnes. 

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