Illegal fishing is on the rise
Residents living near lakes and rivers have been asked to desist from illegal fishing, which sometimes results into loss of lives.
The call comes following recent incidents, especially in the Eastern Province where some people were either injured or killed by hippopotamus and crocodiles.
Most of these incidents occur in sites that are apparently restricted from fishers following the planting of new fish species that needs to grow before harvesting.
According to Police, the most recent incident happened at Lake Rumira in Bugesera District where a man was attacked and injured by a hippopotamus while illegally fishing.
Lake Rumira is among the Inland Lakes Integrated Development and Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) where new fish species were planted, and has since been restricted from fishers.
The Bugesera District Police Commander Superintendent Claude Tembo, said fishing in prohibited waters is illegal and punishable by the law.
“It is among the police priorities to protect these lakes and marine do patrol them from time to time,” said Supt. Tembo.
“Fishermen have been organized in cooperatives whereby they are being trained by PAIGELAC on how to protect the planted young fish species, and those still involved in such illegal acts should follow the example set by their colleagues instead of taking the wrong direction that lands them into trouble of either being injured and killed by animals or arrested,” he said.
About 13 incidents of illegal fishing were registered last year, where some people were killed by either hippopotamus or crocodiles.
Eastern Region police Spokesperson, Superintendent Benoit Nsengiyumva, said the law will take its course for those who have kept deaf ears and continue to defy directives.
“PAIGELAC recently bought new fish species which have been planted in some lakes, and as per now, these species are not ready for harvest.
Whoever is fishing in these lakes now is against the law and measures have to be devised to stop them,” said Nsengiyumva.