Prices of Limnothrissa miodon, a high protein sardine locally known as Isambaza, have significantly dropped on markets in the south-western district of Rusizi following the lifting of a two-month temporary ban that was imposed on fishing in Lake Kivu.
Authorities regularly impose a temporary fishing ban to allow fish to reproduce and give room for increased production in the lake.
Fishermen and residents say the ban which was lifted this week, was needed to help replenish fish stocks in the lake.
Usually when such bans are lifted, fish production drastically improves leading to a significant drop in market prices.
A kilogramme cost Rwf4,000 in the past few weeks but now it goes for between Rwf1,500 and Rwf2000.
And apart from the significant drop in prices, the Lake is also witnessing higher fish stocks following the temporary ban on fishing activities, fishermen have said.
Some fishermen who were getting less than 20 kilogrammes of sardines per day before the ban harvested over 350 kilogrammes the day it was lifted, according to Remy Ugirashebuja, the president of the Federation of Fishers’ Cooperatives.
“There is a huge difference in production,” Ugirashebuja said.