KAYUNGA – Scientists have proven that fish kill is an annual phenomenon that usually occurs on Lake Victoria and is associated with weather patterns. However, the extent of fish kills reported since September 2020 in Uganda to-date is higher than the previous episodes.
The current fish kills have been reported both on Lake Kyoga (from Nakasongola and Kayunga Districts) and Lake Victoria most especially in the fishing communities of Nabiswera, Lwabiyata, Kalungi and Lwampanga.
It has basically happened to one species and that is Lates niloticus commonly known as Mputa/Nile perch. The weight of dead fish has been ranging between 15 to 20 kg per head with the record of 100 kg as the biggest.
On 5th January and 9th January, 2020, Fish Scientists from the Fisheries Directorate and the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute were dispatched to different landing sites to pick up fish and water samples for study.
To commence laboratory Investigation, Fish and Water samples were picked from different landing sites and taken for analysis at the Directorate of Government Analytical laboratory (DGAL) – (for toxicology), National Fisheries Resources Research Institute Laboratory – (for Algae analysis) and National Animal Disease diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC) – (for Pesticide Residue Analysis).
From the community investigations, the observable factors by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries were; windy days and water getting turbid, significant floating vegetation covering the fishing grounds coupled with the floods has been rooting in the water leading to a depleted supply of oxygen.