Fish scarcity hits Eastern Province

A fishing ban on lakes in the Eastern Province has led to a shortage and increase in prices of fish.The ban was imposed to allow the new Tilapia species introduced on lakes to grow.According to a mini-survey conducted by The New Times, fish now retails at Rwf1,700 - 2,000 per kg up from Rwf900 - 1000 per kg, last year.
 Lake Muhazi is one of the Lakes containing the new tilapia species introduced in the Eastern Province. (Photo by S. Rwembeho)
Lake Muhazi is one of the Lakes containing the new tilapia species introduced in the Eastern Province. (Photo by S. Rwembeho)

A fishing ban on lakes in the Eastern Province has led to a shortage and increase in prices of fish.

The ban was imposed to allow the new Tilapia species introduced on lakes to grow.

According to a mini-survey conducted by The New Times, fish now retails at Rwf1,700 - 2,000 per kg up from Rwf900 - 1000 per kg, last year.

A fish dealer in Rwamagana, Juliana Mukandutiye, said that this has resulted to illegal fishing.

“We depend on people doing illegal fishing... The manoeuvres involved in buying and selling the fish, no doubt pushes the prices even higher,” she said.

James Karinganire, a teacher in Kirehe said that most people have removed fish from their menu due to prohibitive prices.

However, the Governor of the Eastern Province, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, said that the scarcity of fish will soon be history.

She said that fishing had to be controlled to give time for the newly introduced species to mature.

“We shall have the highest fish production in the country. It should be noted that out of the 26 water bodies we have in the country, 23 are in Eastern Province,” she said.

“We thus introduced the best type of fish, to maximise our production for the good of the whole country,” she said.

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