Following successive incidents where thousands of fish suffocated due to lack of oxygen leading farmers to count losses in millions, the government has said that they are thinking of incorporating fish farmers in the agricultural insurance scheme to help these farmers avoid making such losses in the future. The latest incident took place on Friday, July 1, in Eastern Province where thousands of fish died on Lake Muhazi following depletion of oxygen due to water turnovers that triggered a deadly ‘algal bloom’ for mature fish. The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has said that they will include fish farming in the subsidized insurance product dubbed ‘Tekana’ which usually caters to dairy cows, pigs, poultry and crops dubbed, ‘Tekana’. A similar incident occurred on the same lake in January, leading to the death of thousands of fish of the Tilapia variety. At the time, more than 3,700 tilapia fish died. According to findings, the water turnover that triggers a deadly algal bloom phenomenon for mature fish is most likely to happen during the night because of oxygen competition between fishes and algae. “Fish farmers are advised to place cages at a depth of more than eight metres far from the shores, to put enough space between cages and clean them regularly to allow access to enough oxygen,” said Solange Uwituze, Deputy Director-General in charge of Animal Resources, Research and Technology Transfer at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB). Uwituze added that farmers should also check their cages regularly to be able to control the situation beforehand. “Farmers should also have portable oxygen meters to test the amount of dissolved oxygen”, she said. Uwituze advised that fish that weighs more than 500 grams should be fished out because they are at high risk in case of depletion of oxygen,” she added.