Soldiers attached to the UPDF fisheries protection unit - FPU
have destroyed illegal fishing nets in Buyende district.
Capt. Favorite Rugumayo, the FPU commandant in Buyende district says
that 10,614 illegal boats commonly referred to as “bao tatu,” have also been captured within the last two months.
While leading a group of soldiers in destroying illegal nets at Bukungu landing site on
Friday, Capt. Rugumayo says they confiscate an average of 250
nets daily. He however says the suspects abandon the illegal gears and flee before arrest.
He says they have so far destroyed 17,947 illegal fishing nets for the past two months of
their deployment along lake Kyoga in Buyende district.
Capt. Rugumayo says that most of the fishermen have failed to
appreciate the fact that the lake is on fishing holiday and must be given time so that the fishermen can caught mature fish.
//cue in: “we launched the…
Cue out…fishing as usual,”.
Rugumayo further stresses that logistical challenges have
hampered night patrols which has disabled them from accessing the lake at the
prime time when illegal fishing is much visible. “Currently our fuel budget is
still low and we only have a 15 horse power engine which is incapacitated in
terms of the much needed speed to patrol the lake,” he says.
However, led by their chairperson, Yokanah Wanzige,
fishermen in Buyende have demanded that the soldiers should allow those with
rightful fishing gears to access the lake as they will help them in tracking
down suspects who abuse the set laws governing the lake.
Wanzige notes that financially able fishermen can purchase
recommended fishing gears and employ the idle youthful population which has since
resorted to petty theft as a means of survival.