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Impounded Fishing Gear Returned to Owners in Entebbe :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Impounded Fishing Gear Returned to Owners in Entebbe

The fishing gear, 113 motorcycles, three bicycles, and one vehicle were impounded last year in different operations to clamp down on fishing malpractices in several areas of Entebbe.
Some of the items (engines, motrocyles, boats and bicycles that were set to be returned to the owners.

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50 Boats and 117 boat engines, that were confiscated in an operation on illegal fishing gear have been returned to the owners following a directive by President Museveni.

The ceremony to hand over the gear was held on Thursday at the Gudda landing site near Kitubulu in Katabi town council.

The fishing gear, 113 motorcycles, three bicycles, and one vehicle were impounded last year in different operations to clamp down on fishing malpractices in several areas of Entebbe.

The Entebbe Deputy Resident District Commission Jackeline Kankunda asked the owners of the impounded items to ensure they don’t engage in the malpractices that led to the confiscation of the items.

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Wakiso UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU) Commander Lt Hakim Mbaziira Lukyamuzi said that the use of fake fishing nets, catching immature fish, engaging in fishing without a permit, and using wrong fishing vessels among others are rampant in the area.

He said that using gear that traps immature fish denies the country income as the immature catch brings in less than a tenth of the income of mature fish.  He added that the law had not been suspended nor had they (FPU) ended their duty, and as such those who have been pardoned should avoid being arrested again.

According to Lukyamuzi, returning the impounded gear marks cordial relations between the FPU and the community.  In the past, the FPU personnel have been accused of excesses including torture and alleged killings as they battled against alleged fishing malpractices.

The Mayor of Katabi Town Council, Kalema Basammula-ekkere said that the people whose property had been confiscated had been operating on loans and had sunk into poverty, including having their other property confiscated on failed mortgages.

Godfrey Ssekandi, a fisherman and Kitubulu NRM chairman asked the President to also consider pardoning the fishermen who were in jail or had already been convicted and sentenced because their lives had been shattered.

Elly Mark Kalema Wassajja, vice chairman of the Fishermen’s Barriers Association (BA) asked fishermen to adhere to fishing rules. He also noted that excesses of extortion, corruption, and torture had reduced owing to a good working relationship between the UPDF marine forces the local leaders, and the fishing community.