MAYORS from East African countries have expressed concern over the decreasing fish stocks in Lake Victoria.
Entebbe mayor Steven Kabuye said unrestricted access and lack of enforcement of laws had led to over-exploitation of the lake.
â€œThe lake has been contributing an estimated 500,000 tonnes of fish, an equivalent of $400m annually, but if the local authorities do not regulate its exploitation, we stand to lose economically,â€ he warned.
Kabuye made the remarks at a conference for the Lake Victoria Region Local Authorities Co-operation at Botanical Beach Hotel in Entebbe on Tuesday.
The meeting was attended by over 400 mayors from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.
A five-year plan to tackle environmental degradation and unsustainable exploitation of the lake was launched at the summit.
Kabuye urged the mayors to sensitise the locals on the importance of sustainably using Lake Victoria.
The organisation secretary general, Dr. Julius Odongo, said some new fishing technologies had resulted into the depletion of fish supplies.
â€œThere has been greater demand for fish by establishing processing factories that have a large capacity for processed products,â€ he said.
He noted that increased fish demand and diminishing yields had forced fishermen to extend their fishing grounds so as to satisfy the increased demand. This, he said, had resulted into conflict among the fishermen who strive to outcompete each other.
East African mayors decry decreasing fish stocks