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Fisheries Sub Sector

Fisheries Sub Sector

The fisheries sub-sector is regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Resources and Fisheries.
Fish is one of the high value commodities that contributes to economic growth in Uganda. It contributes 3% to National GDP and 12% to agriculture sector GDP. Its contribution to GDP at current price in 2014 was 1.7 percent the same contribution as in 2013. . Total fish production in 2014 amounted to 562,000 MT, of which 18,077 MT were exported. This generated USD 171.36 million for the country in 2014. This was an improved performance relative to production in 2013, which stood at 517,313 MT.
The sector targets to increase annual production to 674,028 MT by 2020, valued at approximately USD 6.4 billion. Annual exports are projected to increase to USD 200 million. (Source:MAAIF 2016/17)
The fisheries sector in Uganda is the second exchange earner for the country. The investment in the sector is estimated at US$ 200 million with employment of over 700,000 people. Uganda has more than 350 fish species, the Nile perch and Tilapia remain the most important, making up 46% and 38% of the total. The sector depends on natural water bodies which account for about 18% of Uganda’s total surface area. Lake Victoria the largest tropical lake and second largest fresh water lake in the world contributes 60% of the annual fish catch of 223,100 metric tons , lake Albert 15% (56,000) and Lake Kyoga 16% (60,000) and the balance comes from the other smaller lakes.
According to MAAIF the country has an existing fish supply deficit of 180,000 tones (MAAIF, 2012), while FAO puts it at 300,000 tonnes annually. This implies that there is need for production of between 400 and 600 million fingerlings annually if aquaculture production is going to address the existing gap. It is currently estimated that Uganda produces not more than 80 million fingerlings annually from both private and public hatcheries. So this means there is a gap of 300 to 500million of fingerlings annually. Similarly, to farm fish there is need for quality fish feed. Producing 180,000 to 300,000 tonnes of fish to make up for the deficit in supply of fish requires 400,000 to 600,000 tonnes of fish feed annually. Currently the country through both private and public fish feeds producers makes less than 100,000 tonnes of fish feeds annually. This leaves a gap of about 500,000 tonnes of fish feeds.
Regulatory framework
Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries
The ministry is responsible for formulating, reviewing and implementing national policies, plans, strategies, regulations and standards and enforces laws, regulations and standards along the value chain of crops, livestock and fisheries.
Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association (UFPEA)
UFPEA provides business development services to the fisheries and through the association, efforts are made to advocate for policies that favour the fish sub sector.
Fisheries Development and Management Policy
The current development policy of the Government with respect to food production is to ensure the supply of adequate and balanced food through the attainment of self-sufficiency and the reduction of post-harvest losses. In the case of fisheries, this includes;

  • Maximisation of fish production to increase animal protein production and per capita consumption
  • Reduction of post-harvest losses
  • Maximisation of net earnings from fisheries over and above what it costs society to produce

Minimum Size Regulations
The Act as amended by Statutory Instrument No. 15 of 1981 sets out minimum legal size at which fish are to be taken in accordance with Section 35 of the Act. But the current rules refer to Nile Tilapia and Nile Perch.
Regulations on Fish Processing and Fish Trade
Restriction on fish processing and marketing as specified in Section 8 of the Act is being further strengthened to take into account fish product standards which should include legal authority to certify the quality of fish products destined to both local and export consumer markets.

Key strength of fisheries sector
The industrial land to set up processing facilities in Uganda is the cheapest in the region.
Cheap labour with highly trained professionals in Fisheries
Reliable water bodies and climate for fish farming
Uganda is ranked 10th exporter of fisheries products in Africa
Uganda’s fish is organic by practices and could be branded for premium price
Ugandan fish is very delicious
Strong and visible Umbrella Association that supports investors in the sector

The information under fisheries sector has been summarized as follows

Fishing in Lakes and Rivers

Value Addition in Fish

Key players in the fisheries sector

Fisheries Training Institutions in Uganda

Investment opportunities