Cage farming is an old system across the world. In the Far East, the system has been used for hundreds of years. In Africa, it was first piloted in West Africa and then on Lake Kariba in Zambia in the 1980s. In Uganda, viability studies were started in the 1990s at the National Fisheries Research Institute, Jinja. However, few Ugandans have taken up this wonderful venture.
Fish cages are placed in lakes, ponds, rivers or oceans to contain and protect fish until they can be harvested. The method is also called “off-shore cultivation” when the cages are placed in the lake.
Fish is stocked in cages, artificially fed, and harvested when they reach market size. The cages vary in size. Each of the boxes is about 3m x 3m in size. The boxes are interlinked by pipes and a wooden bridge on which care takers access them during harvesting and feeding. The interlinked structure can be as long as 100 metres.
Although Uganda is endowed with water sources, investment in cage fish farming remains low. And yet, if the country wants to reduce the pressure on the lakes, this is the way to go.
The Government should, therefore prioritise, cage fish farming in order to enhance fish production.