By Baluku Alex
KASESE: UPDF marine have today arrested 13 Congolese fishermen and impounded 6 boats and subsequently burnt 625 fishing nets along Kayanja, Katwe, Kazinga, and Rwashama landing sites on Lake Edward in Kasese district.
This was during a two weeks operation mounted by the UPDF marine commanders.
Speaking to Rwenzori Daily shortly after the operation, Lt. Col. Dick Kasaija, the marine Commander of the fisheries unit, said that the operation was aimed at curbing the illegal fishing practices along the landing sites in Kasese district.
“We have two weeks’ operations following the illegal practices in Lake Edward by the Congolese fishermen who have failed to comply with our policies. They have been using illegal boats, monofilament ropes for fishing, hooks as small as 8-9 inches yet the policy provides for the 10-inch size to catch small fish at the lake shores,” the marine commander reported.
Lt. Col. Kasaija said that the arrested Congolese nationals crossed to Uganda with illegal boats, an authorized fishing boats and started operating without working permits. While asked about the fate of the suspects, Lt. Col. Kasaija said that they will be deported back to their home country while the impounded boats will remain in Uganda.
The suspects were identified as Kambale Emmanuel, Bwambale Bahati, Jamari Kandidalo all from Kyavinyonge landing sites and the others as katembo kaswahili, muhindo Jackson, Muhindo kayilayi, kambale kisusuti, kambale katakala, Muhindo Malunga, Muhindo kagombe, kambale Mabuna, kasereka Majekere, muhindo Kabunga from Kasindi Paul landing site.
The Public Relations Officer Marine Brigade Unit, Capt. Favorite Rugumayo warned the Congolese fishermen from their continued act of illegal sailing on the Uganda’s waters with an aim of violating the country’s laws on fishing practices.