Cage Fish Farmers Lose Stock to Pollution

1720 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Keleb Nuwahereza, a cage culture specialist at NaFIRRI says some of the cage fish farmers have limited the flow of water leading to the excessive development of organic matter from fish feeds, which pollutes water.

Cage culture specialists at the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute - NaFIRRI are warning that irresponsible cage fish farming could pollute water bodies. Cage fish farming is common in various water bodies in Jinja.
 
The cages are usually floated in rafts, and either anchored to the Lake/reservoir/river bottom, or alternatively connected to shore by a wooden walkway. Keleb Nuwahereza, a cage culture specialist at NaFIRRI says some of the cage fish farmers have limited the flow of water leading to the excessive development of organic matter from fish feeds, which pollutes water.

He says the feeds and fecal matter from fish in the cages can reduce oxygen within and around the waters which eventually affects the fish.

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Nuwahereza warns farmers against using stagnant water for cage fish farming. It is advisable to put cages in water that flows at 10 to 15 cubic meters per second in order to clean the water and avoid polluting the water body.
 
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Dr. David Kazungu, a fish farmer in Kamuli says the challenges of fish farming are enormous.
 
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Daniel Muwanga, the Chairman Jinja Farmer's forum says several farmers have abandoned cage fish farming thinking the fish is maliciously poisoned.
 
Ernest Nabihamba, the Jinja Municipality Council Environment Officer says some chemical agents used in cleaning cages and protecting them like tributyltin has been linked to reproductive problems in aquatic organisms that form food for fish.
 
He says the agent is also suspected to cause immune suppression in marine mammals such as the African otters.
 
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Dr. Stephen Kiwemba, the Jinja District Production Officer says the farmers are trained on sustainable practices of cage fish farming but many of them do the opposite. He says many end up losing fish under such situations.
 
But Dr. John Steven Balirwa, the Director Research at NaFIRRI says they are offering free training in cage fish farming aimed at sustainable management of fisheries at NaFIRRI.