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Fear of fishing method allegedly endangering immature fish

By James Omoro | April 4th 2021

Fishermen on a fishing expedition in Lake Victoria. [James Omoro, Standard]

There is fear immature fish in Lake Victoria could be in danger over the introduction of a 'risky' method of fishing.

The method, christened 'Seine fishing' has been termed a serious threat to the survival of fish in the lake.

Also known as seine-haul, it is a method that employs a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats.

The net is tied to a motorboat which pulls it from one part of the lake to another.

There are also people who sit in the boat with the purpose of hitting water with a piece of wood.

Homa Bay County Agriculture and Fisheries executive Aguko Juma said this method of fishing is illegal and should not be practised in the lake.

Aguko said the new fishing method is being promoted by officials of some beach management offices warning that they risk being fined or even sent home if the trend continues. 

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“We have the authority to disband the offices whose holders want to encourage this dangerous fishing method,” Juma said.

He said his office is liaising with the Principal Secretary of Agriculture in the national government for reinforcement on how to fight the vice.

The illegal fishing method recently caused a fight among fishermen at Ngegu beach in Rangwe sub-County between its proponents and those who oppose it.

A number of fishermen have decried the practice.

William Onditi, Suba Beach Management Unit chair said the fishing method will greatly reduce the fish population in the lake.

“The moment you start catching all sorts of fish, both immature and mature, you are doing a lot of harm to the fish population,” Onditi said.

Some of the beaches where the method is used are Kisaka, Ndhuru, Ngegu, Lela, Achick, Kale Mwai beaches Mbita, Homa Bay, Rangwe, and Rachuonyo North sub-counties.

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