Fish exporters apologize for proposed Nile perch ban
The fish exporters apologized and withdrew their proposal to parliament to ban domestic consumption of Nile perch.
After exporters from the Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association (UFPEA) made the proposal while in parliament last week, some of the public took to social media to condemn the move.
In their appearance before the parliamentary committee on agriculture, the exporters proposed that parliament enact a law banning local consumption of Nile perch, as this delicacy brings in large revenues for the country in European and Asian markets.
However, they turned back to the position yesterday.
âWe would like to extend our sincere apologies to all stakeholders and the general public in Uganda regarding the comment made to the media following our submission to the parliamentary committee. I would like to thank our chairman for making this statement, âsaid Mr. Philip Borel De Bitche, Managing Director of Greenfields Uganda Limited.
âNile perch, like any other fish in this country, is subject to a free market. You can catch Mukene, Tilapia, Semutundu, Emmale anything. You are in a free market. So the price will determine who gets this fish, âhe added.
The exporters also, in a joint statement read by Ms. Ovia Katiti Matovu, Director General of UFPEA, said the suggestion presented by their president, Mr. Sujal Goswami, was misunderstood.
READ: Ban local consumption of Nile perch – exporters
They recommended that Tilapia also be widely popularized by stakeholders so that it is also appreciated and generates more income in overseas markets.
“If we are to protect the industry for economic development and employment, this must be examined and channeled by the industry, to promote and protect Nile tilapia, which is a local delicacy for the growing population whose demand for it. nutrition and food security increases. “said Ms. Katiti.
Fishing communities on Monday called on lawmakers not to rush the process and enactment of the 2021 Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, but exporters called on parliament to speed it up so the sector is healthy. spirit.
“We urge the Parliament and the government to adopt the draft law on fisheries and aquaculture which has been pending for more than 15 years for an effective development of the sector,” Ms. Katiti said.
Exporters said it is through legislation that illegal fishing, which causes loss of income, will be brought under control.
Once adopted, the bill will allow the sector to develop and generate more income. He also proposes that the government set up a directorate which will be solely responsible for the management of the sector.
If enacted in its present form, anyone found responsible for catching immature fish faces up to seven years in prison or a fine of 200 million shillings.
The Uganda Bureau of Statistics shows that Uganda exported 14,976 tonnes of fish and fishery products in the last fiscal year.