Regional status report on Lake Victoria Frame surveys for 2000, 2002 and 2004: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganga
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Lake Victoria is very important to the economies of the East African Community Partner States. The fishery has undergone major transformations since fish catches increased following establishment of Nile perch (Lates niloticus) and emerging fish processing plants, which export fish and fish products. Fishing pressure on the lake increased rapidly creating fears that the fishery may not be sustainable. Frame surveys have been carried out on Lake Victoria biannually since 2000 to determine the number of fishers and fish la nding sites, facilities at the landing sites, the types, numbers and sizes of fishing crafts and their mode of propulsion, the number, types and sizes of fishing gears and the fish species targeted to provide information to guide development and management of the fishery. The surveys show that: the number of fishers and fish landing sites did not change significantly between 2000 and 2004; there were inadequate facilities at the fish landing sites; the total number of gillnets increased from 650,653 in 2000 to 984,084 in 2002 and 1,233,052 in 2004 suggesting an increase in fishing effort. The number of fishing crafts using outboard engines increased from 4,108 in 2000 to 6,552 in 2002 and 9,609 in 2004, suggesting that fishers went far in search of fish. The Partner states have made deliberate efforts to improve facilities at fish landing sites to meet fish quality requirements and curb illegal fishing gears which is manifested in the reduction in the number of beach seines and illegal gillnets of prohibited mesh sizes. However, there were still a large number of illegal gears especially beach seines and gill nets of mesh sizes less than 5 inches. Facilities and access to fish landing sites should be improved. Efforts to remove illegal fishing gears and methods should be enhanced; and fishing effort should as much as possible be moderated.
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