The East African Community (EAC) on Tuesday launched the five-year Lake Victoria Fisheries Management Plan III (FMP III) that will be stressing on the sustainable utilization of fisheries resources in Africa’s largest fresh water lake.
The goal of the plan is: “Recovery of biomass of Nile perch with Sustainable utilization of fisheries resources of Lake Victoria basin with equitable opportunities and benefits.”
The FMP III is expected to guide the sustainable management of the fisheries resources and thus contribute to poverty alleviation and improvement of livelihoods.
Yohanna Budeba, the Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, emphasized the value of fisheries as a resource within the EAC region, taking into account that the lake is shared by three countries-Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
The official said fisheries sector provides massive opportunities as it’s a source of income, creates employment opportunities in both industrial and artisanal processing.
Executive Secretary for Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization; Godfrey Monor said: “There are several challenges that the Lake Victoria Fisheries is faced with which FMP III aims to address.”
He cited some of the challenges as increased fishing pressure as a result of increasing demand and rising prices of fish and fisheries products; inadequate and unsustainable funding to implement research and agreed management interventions; and increased illegalities due to weak enforcement.
Other challenges include 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.”