By John Ogulei
The State Minister for Fisheries Hellen Adoa Abeku has called on fishermen in Uganda to work closely with the UPDF fisheries protection officers to eliminate criminals in lakes.
The Minister made the remarks Monday afternoon 15th November 2021 while addressing the fishing communities in Kagwara landing site in Serere District.
According to Minister Adoa, the presence of the UPDF fisheries protection unit will help them in eliminating criminals whom she said have for long been terrorizing the fishermen.
The Minister noted that some of the fishermen have fallen into the hands of the criminals who have grabbed all the fish they had collected.
She added that the Fisheries Protection Unit is like traffic Police managing the lakes and controlling the flow of the fishing activities.
“When you use wrong gear in the lake you crush and the lake gets depleted. Let’s support the Fisheries Protection Unit to support you,” Adoa said.
She also asked the fishermen to always use right fishing gears to avoid being caught contradicting the law.
“Use right fishing gears to avoid falling into problems. I also urge you not to shy away from the protection unit or drowning in water, work with them,” she added.
The Minister also revealed that by 2030 each Ugandan will be eating 20 kilograms of fish annually up from the current 10 kilograms per annum.
She also rubbished the allegations that government is planning to block the consumption of tilapia saying no body has a right to speak for the government of Uganda or Ministry of fisheries apart from her.
“There is no such law and people of Uganda must treat that as baseless. 72% of our Ugandan fish is consumed locally,” She added.
The Minister also called on the people to protect the lakes saying the lakes are a reserve and are the future of our generation.