By Emmanuel Balukusa
Fishermen in Buikwe district have called upon the government to double its efforts in fighting the illegal fishing gears that are both imported and smuggled into the country.
They explained that most of the illegal fishing gear used on the water bodies in the country are imported from China and before reaching the market they pass through the customs and the border points which is managed by Uganda National Bureau of Standards.
Lawrence Muwanguzi a fisherman at Bubwa-Kazi landing site in Ssi-Bukunja sub-county said there is no manufacturer of the illegal and substandard fishing nets in Uganda,
The fishermen were speaking at Bubwa-Kazi landing site in Ssi sub county on Buikwe district were the fisheries protection unit held a meeting with both the Buikwe district leaders headed by the Jimmy Kanaabi the district chairperson and also the dwellers and fishers of Bubwa-kazi landing site.
Muwanguzi one of the fishers confessed that for several years he has been engaging in illegal fishing using illegal hooks and nets but after Fisheries protection soldiers arrested him several times he surrendered and he asked Hatim Mbaziira the Buikwe FPU commander to provide him with timber such that he engages in bee keeping.
Lt. Hatim Mbaziira explained that the FPU soldiers no longer engage in caning or beating the fishermen but they are focusing mostly on sensitization and education.
The Buikwe district chairperson Jimmy Kanaabi explained that Buikwe fishermen have a lot of issues and among them is the poor living standards at their landing sites and also the substandard and illegal fishing items which are on market and he asked the government to tighten the entry and supervision of these illegal fishing gears mostly at the customs and border points.