ARUSHA - The Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) Executive Secretary, Dick Nyeko has called upon policy makers in East Africa to consolidate and conserve fish stocks in all water bodies of the East African Community as fish stocks in the region are currently threatened.
Nyeko who was only appointed recently was meeting the EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu in Arusha this weekend to discuss strategies of fish conservation on Lake Victoria.
He said that a lot of environmental changes were taking place in East Africa and these changes were affecting fish stocks on the lake.
Nyeko pointed out that the famous Nile Perch stock in the region was being threatened by uncontrolled fishing.
“The Nile perch is the major traded fisheries commodity internationally; its decline presents a special concern for livelihoods of millions around the lake and the region”.
The Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) is a regional fisheries conservation body under the East African Community; it is responsible for coordinating and managing fisheries resources of Lake Victoria.
Nyeko and Mwapachu discussed the LVFO Fisheries Management Plan and the roles of another related organ of the EAC known as the Lake Victoria Basin Commission.
Both organizations deal with the preservation of water resources and fish stocks in the East African Community set up.
LVFO is set to hold the Lake Victoria Fisheries Conference in Entebbe this October. The conference will review the situation of fisheries on Lake Victoria as well as focusing on poverty alleviation among the majority of the populations living around the Lake.
Mwapachu said steps were being taken to formalize the full membership of Rwanda and Burundi in the LVFO.
Rwanda is already a member of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, the Nile Basin Initiative and the Akagera Basin which almost are all involved in water and fisheries conservation in the region.