The Fisheries sector in Kasese District is head by Mr. Bwambale K. Erisania, the Principle Fisheries officer. Contacts +256 777292959 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fisheries in Kasese District comprises of the capture fisheries (from Lakes George and Edward plus Kazinga channel); Aquaculture or fish farming using fish ponds and tanks; fish marketing with the market at the boarder between Uganda and DRC at Mpondwe being the main one.
Under Capture Fisheries, Kasese has six (6) gazetted landing sites of Kahendero, Hamukungu and Kasenyi on Lake George; Katunguru on Kazinga channel; Katwe and Kayanja on Lake Edward. The major commercial species captured from these water bodies are Tilapia (Erihere/Engege) and Bagrus docmac (Omukolho/Ssemutundu). The other species commonly captured are Clarias Spp (Eyisombi/Emale); Protopterus aethiopicus (Mamba/Ehondwe); Barbus Spp (Enzunguli/Enjunguli), Momorys spp, Labeo spp and Haplochomis spp.
The District was able to harvest about 2,652,638 kg of fish during 2022/2023 Financial year which fetched about 13,471,875,645 Uganda shillings for the fishing communities.
Core functions of the fisheries sector
- Managing and regulating the fisheries resources within Kasese to ensure sustainable fishing practices and conservation of the aquatic ecosystem.
- Enforcing fisheries laws and regulations, conducting inspections, and taking action against illegal fishing activities in conjunction with relevant stakeholders
- Promoting and supporting aquaculture development initiatives within the district to increase fish production
- Providing training and extension services to local fishermen and fish farmers on sustainable fishing and improved aquaculture practices
- Engaging in research and development activities to improve fisheries management and increase fish production.
- Collaborating with other government agencies, NGOs, and community groups to address fisheries-related challenges and promote local economic development
- Issuing fishing licenses and permits to local fishermen and fishing businesses, and ensuring compliance with fishing regulations
- Collecting data on fish catch statistics, and environmental conditions in local water bodies to support informed decision-making
The figures C,D,E and F , pond fish handing at the pond site is still a challenge that needs to be addressed, no formal criteria is used in marketing of fish. Fish prices are determined by mere estimation which leads to farmers being cheated. This method of marketing leads to very law output from pond farming enterprises.
Figure: F, above. Fish handling at the pond sites. Many farmers are not conversant with some fish processing techniques like smoking and salting. Therefore once fish is harvested in bulk, its sold at a loss (cheap prices) at the pond site due to fear of spoilage. In most cases the price is determined by the buyers and the farmer has no power to bargain. This therefore calls for the need to train farmers in simple fish processing technologies vis’a vis smoking and salting as well as providing infrastructure for the same processing methods to some selected firms.
Figure G: marketing strategy at the pond site. Fish farming technologies / interventions: To improve fish production in the district, and supplement the volumes caught from the wild (lakes George and Edward), some fish farming technologies have been promoted. The technologies include tank and cage fish farming. Tanks are promoted in areas with no free flowing streams, where as cages are promoted at the lake regions. Various farmers have been trained in tank farming and some youth groups in low cost (bamboo) cage construction. Four tank fish farming pilots are in place however at subsistence level to cater for house hold food security and small incomes. All the pilots were stocked with African cat fish(Clarias gariepinus), and all have been harvested. Fish were able to grow in tanks, to an average size of 500g in 7 months. However this disappointed the farmers as they were expecting 1kg and above. The main challenges experienced by farmers with this technology is the management of water quality, diseases and maintaining the feeding rations as it principally depends on formulated floating feeds.
In the picture above is one of the innovations of a fish tank using tap water, in a yard in Kasese Municipality.
|In one of the green houses in Katwe Kabatooro town council, the entrepreneur registered success. Average weight attained by fish was 500 to 700g, in 8 months with 80% survival rate. There were no incidences of diseases in the tanks for the whole grow out period. Feeding was based on locally formulated sinking feeds, and use of compost.
However some commercial farmers have come up with innovations of tanks where fish is stocked at high density in green houses. This requires high maintenance costs in terms ensuring good water quality in the tanks, feeding, and water oxygenation.
|Freshly harvested cat fish from green house tank in Katwe Kabatooro town council, packed in drums and destined for Mpondwe market.
Cage fish farming Trials: As the riparian population in the district increases, the pressure exerted on fisheries resources also increases. In Kasese District this resulted in the use of unsustainable means of fishing and drastic decline in the production levels of its two lakes. Given the unsatisfied demand of fish in the district, there is an urgent need to compensate for the decrease in fish capture and increase the availability of marketable fish. At the same time given the lack of alternative livelihoods for riparian communities who often depends exclusively on the declining fish resources, it is acknowledged that they would very much benefit from the development of other viable livelihood alternative options. Cage fish farming in Kasese District has been at small scale levels, small size cages of 2mx2mx2m have been used, with a maximum stocking density of 2000 fingerlings. Tilapia ( Oreaochromis niloticus) fish species have been used. Metallic (locally fabricated) and bamboo cages have been used. Riparian groups have been trained in construction of bamboo cage, as a source of livelihood and as a way of reducing costs of acquiring cages in case the group intends to begin cages.
Figure above shows a locally fabricated metallic cage frame for one of the riparian groups on Lake George.
|In the figure on the left; Training youth groups in bamboo cage construction. This is a low cost technology of making cages that is affordable by small scale entrepreneurs especially the youth. Through the acquired skill the youth are able to obtain livelihood through construction of cages for other members of the community who intend to adopt similar projects.
In the figure above; Bambo cages installed in one of the dams/ water reservoir in Mubuku irrigation scheme under management of Jeza Youth group.
Challenges of cages experienced in kasese District.
- Crocodiles that attack and destroys the cage netting materials leading to escape of fish.
- Lack of capacity of the host groups to sustain the feeding of the fish on floating feeds as recommended for cage management.
- Stocking of mixed sex tilapia where the females slows in growth.