OUTLAWED METHOD

Seining a threat to young fish, say Homa Bay fishers

Seine pollutes especially when the water is splashed about to scare fish.

In Summary

• Seining involves the use of a seine fishing net that hangs vertically in the water by weights at its bottom and its top edge buoyed by floats.

• The net is tied to a motorboat which drags it from one part of the lake to another.

Fishermen prepare nets for fishing expectdition in Mbita, Homa Bay on March 25, 2021
Fishermen prepare nets for fishing expectdition in Mbita, Homa Bay on March 25, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO
Fishermen in Lake Victoria on Rusinga Island in Suba North constituency on March 23, 2021
Fishermen in Lake Victoria on Rusinga Island in Suba North constituency on March 23, 2021
Image: ROBERT OMOLLO

The rising popularity of seining in Lake Victoria is a threat to young fish and a driver of pollution, Homa Bay fishers have said. 

Seining involves the use of a seine fishing net that hangs vertically in the water by weights at its bottom and its top edge buoyed by floats.

The net is tied to a motorboat which drags it from one part of the lake to another.

On Thursday, Suba Beach Management Unit chairman Willaim Onditi said the method referred in Dholuo as bunglu is a forcible fish trap.

“We’re worried by the kind of nets they use which catch even undersized fish. They place the nets in breeding areas to catch as much fish as possible,” Onditi said.

Recently, a fight broke out among fishermen at Ngegu beach in Rangwe constituency over the seining method. 

Onditi called on the government to help them stop the fishing method on grounds that it greatly reduces fish population in the lake.

“When this type of trawling and dangerous method is used, I fear we will lack fish in the lake,” Onditi said.

Seining is practised in Kisaka, Ndhuru, Ngegu, Lela, Achick, Kale Mwai beaches Mbita, Homa Bay, Rangwe and Karachuonyo constituencies.

Homa Bay Agriculture executive Aguko Juma said seining is illegal and should not be practised in the lake.

Aguko said some officials of beach management offices were involved in the ilegal activity.

“We have the authority to disband BMU offices whose holders want to encourage this dangerous fishing method,” Aguko said.

He said his office is liaising with the Agriculture ministry so more patrols can be undertaken in the lake. 

 

(edited by o. owino)