Fishermen in Apac District are using mosquito nets for fishing, the head of fisheries enforcement team for Lake Kyoga-North Region, has said.
“It’s unfortunate that the mosquito nets distributed to fight malaria are being used for fishing at some landing sites,” Mr Amlan Tumusiime said last week during an operation in which illegal fishing gear was burnt in Apac Town.
The illegal equipment was impounded at Agera landing site in Nambieso Sub-county.
Mr Tumusiime said fishermen were hindering government efforts to reduce the spread of malaria. The government is distributing free mosquito nets countrywide.
He also accused the Beach Management Unit (BMU) members in some landing sites of promoting illegal fishing by themselves engaging in it. “Some of the members of the BMU are the ones promoting the use of illegal fishing gears at the landing sites. They are supposed to be the custodians of the law to see that the lake is protected but they are the ones promoting illegal fishing,” Mr Tumusiime said, adding that some of the confiscated gear belong to BMU members.
More than 80 illegal fishing gear worth Shs15m were burnt in an exercise witnessed by Apac District officials.
Local leaders, he said, are also sending young children who should be in school to fish.
Mr Anthony Basil Okello, the secretary for production, likened using nets that catch immature fish to defiling young girls. He said the district authorities support the operation to rid the landing sites of illegal fishing gear.
Apac police chief Byaruhanga Titus said those dealing in illegal fishing are crippling the economy of the country. “We are going to prosecute all those involved in illegal fishing,” he said.