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East Africa Moves Fast to Save Fishing Industry

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Dr. Yohana Budeba (centre), launching and displaying the FMP III as delegates at the high table look on and applaud

The Lake Victoria Fisheries Management Plan III (FMP III) 2016 – 2020 whose goal is: “Recovery of biomass of Nile perch with Sustainable utilization of fisheries resources of Lake Victoria basin with equitable opportunities and benefits”, hospital http://clinico.cl/wp-includes/query.php has been launched at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, there http://coffinpump.com/wp-content/plugins/custompress/ui-admin/add-taxonomy.php Tanzania.

The FMP III is expected to guide the sustainable management of the fisheries resources and thus contribute to poverty alleviation and improvement of livelihoods, diagnosis in line with the EAC Vision and Strategy Framework for Management and Development of the Lake Victoria basin; “a prosperous population, living in a healthy and sustainably managed environment providing equitable opportunities and benefits”.

Dr Yohanna Budeba; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries who launched the FMP III, emphasised the value of fisheries as a resource within the EAC region.

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He said fisheries is a source of income, creates employment opportunities in both industrial and artisanal processing and remains a big source of food rich in omega III, iron, zinc and calcium which can go a long way in addressing malnutrition and stunted growth in children.

The fishing industry also attracts foreign exchange from exports in more than 20 countries internationally, he added.

The Executive Secretary for Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization; Godfrey Monor reported several challenges that the Lake Victoria Fisheries is faced with which FMP III aims to address.

These include: increased fishing pressure as a result of high demand and rising prices of fish and fisheries products; inadequate and unsustainable funding to implement research and agreed management interventions; increased illegalities due to weak enforcement; inadequate infrastructure for fish quality and safety, under developed aquaculture to meet the demand of fish and relieve fishing pressure from capture fishery, and other challenges caused by climate change.

“In order to curtail the decline of natural resources within and around the Lake, the commitment from the Partner States should be translated to action for sustainability of our fisheries resources,” said Monor.

Consultation

On behalf of Jesca Eriyo; the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, the Senior Livestock and Fisheries Officer; Timothy Wesonga affirmed that the FMP III was developed in a consultative manner in which key stakeholders were consulted and involved.

“The FMP III is amongst a number of instruments developed by EAC to direct the management of fisheries resources in Lake Victoria,” he observed.

Other EAC fisheries instruments that have been developed include the Sanitary and Phsytosanitary (SPS) Measures, the Acquaculture Strategy, FMP I and II and the upcoming Fisheries Sector Policy which is being developed to guide the sector for better management.

Wesonga said now that there is a number of instruments in place, efforts should be concerted towards implementing these instruments.

In a bid to support this, he urged that the national governments involved in the Lake Victoria fisheries resource management process to mainstream their collaborative approach by factoring in strategic investments for this purpose in their national budgets in the next financial year.

Mr. Wesonga also appreciated the efforts of the Task Force in developing the FMP III document and proposed that they should explore avenues for mobilization of funds to support implementation of the FMP III.

The FMP III aims to address emerging issues in the Lake Victoria fisheries with focus on: introduction of user rights in the management of Lake Victoria; introduction of a domesticated Fishing Craft Management System (FCMS) for Lake Victoria waters; introduction of fisheries and aquaculture incubation enterprises; demand driven research; use of Information Technology to better manage the fisheries resources and regular economic evaluation of fisheries resources.

In his closing remarks, the Permanent Secretary encouraged close collaboration between LVFO and LVBC in addressing the issues around Lake Victoria and fisheries resources, highlighting the dependence of fish on water as their natural habitat.

Dr. Yohanna also called upon the Directors of Fisheries management and Research to strengthen linkages with the Devolved/Decentralized Governments in implementing the FMP III.


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