Fish processing factories increase as Fisheries Protection Unit takes charge

Fish stock from Uganda’s water bodies have drastically increased as a result of the stellar enforcement mechanisms by the UPDF Fisheries Protection Unit (FPU).

This was observed by the Commander of FPU Lt Col Mercy Tukahirwa as she embarked on a 3 – day ( 17th to 19, 2024) guided and sensitization tour of fish processing factories in Jinja and Kampala districts.

“Our engagement with fishing communities has definitely led to fish stock increase hence the mushrooming fish processing factories,” remarked Lt Col Tukahirwa as she toured Nyanza Perch factory, Lake Eco Fish Processing Limited and Yalelo Private Cage Fish Company in Jinja.

Other fish factories toured to create an amiable working relationship between the FPU and the fishing industry included Fresh Perch Factory, Nile Perch Company and Lake Bounty Group Company in Ntinda, Kampala.
Going forward, Lt Col Tukahirwa also expressed her gratitude to the fishing industry for their good cooperation and team work with FPU troops, noting that this cooperation has increased employment opportunities and widened the tax base.

She, however, cautioned all those benefitting from this industry to engage in only lawful measures at every stage in the fish production chain. During her engagement with Staff at Nile Perch Company, the Managing Director Mr Manoj Sreekanta commended FPU for enforcing legal fishing which has increased fish yield.

“When the raw materials (fish) increase as attributed to the measures undertaken by FPU, we also benefit,” noted Mr Manoj, adding that their production of about 50 tons of fish per week is due to the work of FPU on water bodies in exercise of their powers that has seen growth of Nile Perch and Tilapia to the recommended sizes.

Mr. Bitsinze Nkurunziza, the Managing Director of Yalelo Private Cage praised FPU for the security on water, noting that daily operations have enabled them to grow more fresh fish in cages for the markets in Kenya, DR Congo and Uganda. “With your operations, we now produce 8000 tons annually, and 700 tons for monthly as opposed to earlier catches before FPU,” he said.

He noted that because of the profitability in the business, they have put a footprint by opening up shops in Kampala, Busia, Malaba, and Mpondwe border to cater for the DR Congo market. While the Managing Director of Lake Bounty Group Company Mr.Rakesh Shetty acknowledged the guided leadership and gfrom the President and Commander in Chief of UPDF H.E Gen Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for coming up with the vision to avoid environmental degradation.

“By 2016/17 the fishing industry had collapsed. With the emergency of the FPU in 2017 by the end of 2019, fish stock had increased,” said Mr Rakesh. Through out her visit, Lt Col Tukahirwa was briefed that bad fishing habits, unforeseen environmental changes and inadequate infrastructure still hinder the growth of the fish industry. The FPU army chief was accompanied by the Operations Officer Maj Frank Kanzira, Intelligence Officer Maj Joseph Cherop and the Counter Intelligence Officer Lt Nabasa, among others.

Shared BY Col Deo Akiiki

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