Fishing is a lucrative venture that supports hundreds of thousands of families around East Africa. But while this is so, the number of wild fish in Lake Victoria has been shrinking at an alarming rate. Pollution of water bodies, poor fishing techniques, and overfishing are the significant causes of the decline.
On the ground of that, communities around the lake often cross the borderline and come up against each other. Conflicts continue to build lousy blood, like the recent case between Kenya and Uganda. To help stop the hostility and increase the number of fish in our waters, below are workable ways to enhance fish farming.
Investing in new fishing technologies
Unfortunately, East African countries put in more focus on improving livestock production. Granted, animals such as cows, goats, and sheep offer a bunch of benefits compared to fish. But again, fish farming is also a lucrative venture that makes countries like china millions from exports. For this reason, investing in newer fishing technologies is absolutely necessary if at all Africans want to meet food sustainability.
As it is, some fishers still use old or illegal techniques to harvest fish. Practices such as the use of explosives, chemicals, and cyanide fishing are unlawful and dangerous to aquatic animals.
Intense research is needful to come up with sustainable methods to control weed, diseases, and breeding. According to the OECD organization, Radio Frequency Identification and use of drones are some of the workable technologies that can be utilized in fishing. Governments, as well as the communities, should develop low impact production systems and do away with traditional and hazardous practices.
Overfishing is one daily grind that puts intense pressure on wild fish in East Africa. A majority of locals around Lake Victoria aren’t aware of the dangers of overfishing. Still, a ton of fishers use small-gauged nets that catch even the smallest fish the waters have to offer.
Fishers should learn to use standard nets. They should also have specific points they do their expedition. Doing this would certainly ensure fish gain the recommendable size before it is harvested. Again, it will offer the ideal environment to mature, away from disruption.
Conserving the environment
Environmental pollution is a significant headache in most countries around the world. Some chemicals we use in farming end up flowing into rivers, hence causing deaths of aquatic animals. Also, some industries discharge untreated wastes without paying regard to the danger they are sending to people and water beings.
East African governments should set strait regulations to curb such activities and create zones for disposing of wastes and chemicals. Industries ought to ensure they treat and dispose of garbage properly. Again, things like plastic bags should never be allowed to enter into rivers or lakes. Crop farmers near water sources should consider using less harmful chemicals and compost manure as alternatives to commercial fertilizers.
Supplement eating fish with other seafood
It is possible to reduce pressure on the already available fish. Unfortunately, as it is now, most of the demand for fish is overstretching each coming day. Even for the farmers opting to take up aquaculture, a tiny fraction of them consider other water animals apart from Nile tilapia and Nile perch. Fortunately, Lake Victoria has over 500 species of seafood wit a significant number of them being edible.
To help reduce the already existing pressure, fish consumers ought to diversify their preferences when it comes to eating aquatic animals. This is so because putting more focus on just ordinary fish isn’t sustainable, considering a typical tilapia fish takes about 240 days to mature.
Conclusively, providing information and training to fish farmers and communities, in general, would go a long way to save water animals. Doing so would also help East Africans device better ways to monitor and practice fishing. Still, it would acquaint citizens of other healthy foods they can consume apart from fish.