Twenty-one people have been arrested over illegal fishing activities in Lake Muhazi in Kayonza District.
They were arrested in two separate operations conducted on May 4th and 5th. The suapects were, among other unlawful fishing activities, using substandard fishing nets, Police said.
"The operations conducted by the Police and local leaders aimed at fighting the increasing cases of illegal fishing and use of destructive fishing gears in Lake Muhazi," Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for Eastern Region, said.
"The suspects were fishing illegally at night and using prohibited destructive fishing nets," CIP Twizeyimana added.
‘’Four of them were arrested in the nighy of May 4th and other 17 on 5th. They were using destructive fishing nets called Kaningini, which catch and kill even the young fish,” he explained.
The two successful separate operations, he said, were based on information provided by members of the fishing cooperative in Rukara Sector.
“These are destructive fishing practices that we are fighting; people who fish illegally and in most cases using banned gears like mosquito nets, Kaningini and other illegal nets which catch and kill every size of fish including the juvenile. These practices affect biological fish growth… they lead to fish depletion,” CIP Twizeyimana warned.
“We urge those living near water bodies and other people to desist from these illegal practices, to form and legalise their groups and cooperatives to conduct legal fishing business; respect government policies and rules on restocking period when fishing is suspended, use modern fishing gears.’’
CIP Twizeyimana further urged fishing cooperatives and communities living along the water bodies to report anyone they suspect to be involved in illegal or criminal activities in the waters.