No such thing as a free lunch, but what about a free fish?
Ugandan fishermen face tough seasons year after year as the illegal sales of so-called immature fish continue. When the little swimmers don’t get a chance to live into adulthood and mate, the fish populations continue their nose dive.
Fish exports used to account for almost $200 million in Uganda. These days its less than half of that.
The strain on the fishing industry is not limited to Uganda. In the U.S., it’s gotten so bad that many fisherman are now confined by special quotas called “catch shares.” Each time they set out on the water they are only allowed to haul up a predetermined percentage of the fish estimated to be swimming below.
In Uganda over the last two weeks an average of one person per day has been arrested in connection with illegal fishing. Inspector Hajj Bore Munyagwa told the Ugandan independent newspaper The Daily Monitor, that he and his team “will not rest until trade in immature fish is completely wiped out.”
But, tucked in amid the hard times for Uganda’s fishing towns is a positive note. This week when illegal fish were confiscated, many residents in the city of Entebbe got to appreciate the catch. They were given the 200,000 kilograms of immature fish free of charge to enjoy.