Title: Towards an appropriate management regime for the fisheries resources of Uganda

Final project
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A management regime was designed and an implementation plan drawn up for the fisheries resources of Uganda. Uganda's fish resources are quite significant. The exploitation of these resources has expanded greatly during the past few decades. The fishing industry ⎯ fisheries, fish processing and fish marketing ⎯ is now a major source of income, employment and exports. In addition, fish is the cheapest source of high quality animal protein in Uganda and thus contributes substantially to the nutritional needs of the population. Uganda's fisheries are currently subject to a severe case of the common property problem. Access to the fish resources is for the most part unrestricted. There are few restrictions on fishing methods, and none on harvesting quantity. As a result, the fishery is bound to over expand and has apparently already done so to a significant degree. Therefore, effective planning and management to ensure a socially optimal sustainable yield from the fishery is called for. The design of an appropriate fisheries management program for Uganda must reflect two basic considerations; (a) to achieve economically and socially efficient utilisation of the fish resources and (b) the nation's ability to implement and enforce an advanced fisheries management regime. Since the latter is quite limited, it is not possible to implement an efficient fisheries management system in the Ugandan fisheries right away. Instead it is necessary to initiate a stepwise process of fisheries management improvements that will hopefully end in a fully efficient fisheries management regime in the not too distant future. The following fisheries management measures are designed to deal with the most serious shortcomings of the current no system. Moreover, they are feasible given the current management capability of the fisheries authorities while at the same time constituting the first steps toward a fully efficient fisheries management regime.

  • Licensing of all fishing vessels and a limitation of licenses issued.
  • Gazetting (and licensing) of all landing sites.
  • More effective gear/area restrictions.
  • The determination of total allowable catches by species and water-bodies.

These measures will restrict entry into the fishery and thereby limit fishing effort, at least in the short run. Licensing of landing sites followed by a reduction in their number will facilitate the currently inadequate monitoring, surveillance and control of the fishery. More effective gear and area restrictions will enhance the sustainable yield of the fishery. Finally, determination of a total allowable catch will facilitate a more precise utilisation of the biological resources and pave the way toward an output oriented fisheries management system. Taken as a whole, these measures, if implemented, are expected to substantially improve and enhance the biological and economic performance of the fisheries. 

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