Fishing is the exploitation/harvesting of fish and other aquatic/water resources e.g. whales, seals, crabs, lobsters, prawns, oysters, etc. for economic purposes.
Fisheries are water bodies or areas where fish and other aquatic resources are reared or caught in large numbers.
They include rivers, lakes, oceans, seas, dams, ponds, etc. they are also referred to as fishing grounds.
Factors influencing fishing
These include the factors that affect the survival of fish in the fisheries as well as those allowing fishing to take place.
They include: –
Presence of fishing grounds
these depend on the supply of fish food/planktons in the water bodies. This requires the oceans and other fishing grounds to be: –
- Shallow to allow sunlight to penetrate for phytoplankton.
- Land derived minerals nutrients from along the coasts with several river mouths.
- Upwelling/well oxygenated waters where warm and cold currents converge.
- Cool waters of temperate latitudes
cool temperatures (about 200C) are ideal for plankton growth and survival.
Hence most commercially important fish species are found in temperate latitudes.
Cool temperatures also reduce the perishability of fish.
Occurrence of ocean currents
areas washed by warm ocean currents have fewer fish species and populations compared to those washed by cold ocean currents.
Also, large shoals of fish are found in areas of convergence of warm and cold ocean currents – waters mix and spread out/distribute water temperature; bringing to surface some fish nutrients, helps in supplying more oxygen in the water necessary for plankton growth.
Nature/configuration/orientation of the coastline
indented/irregular coastlines encourage deep-sea fishing because they allow breeding of fish – they are sheltered from strong winds and ocean currents, anchorage of ships, and development of ports.
A deep coastline with wide continental shelves encourages the growth of plankton hence having a large population of fish.
a large capital base is needed to conduct large-scale commercial fishing i.e. for purchasing fishing gear, vessels, and refrigeration facilities.
modern fishing gears enable fishermen to conduct fishing deep in seas/lakes/oceans.
areas with large populations offer a good market for the fish especially if the population is a fish-eating one.
fishing is highly labour intensive hence fishing thrives in areas of the high population e.g. Asia, Europe, North America, etc.
Transport and refrigeration facilities
large scale commercial fishing requires that the fishing grounds be served with an efficient network of roads to enable the delivery of caught fish to the market when still fresh (fish is highly perishable).
In areas that are far away from the market, refrigeration facilities are required during transit.
FISHING IN UGANDA
In Uganda, fishing is developed on Lakes, rivers, and swamps.
Lake Victoria is the most important fishing ground, followed by Lake Kyoga and Albert, Edward, and George.
The most common fish caught are Tilapia, Nile perch, and Haplochromis.
FISHING ON LAKE VICTORIA
a number of fishing Villages / ports developed on the Lake including Gomba, Bukakata, Kasenyi, Luzira, Kibanga, Kasensero, Jinja, Majanji, and Masese. Major fish species caught include tilapia, Nile perch, and silverfish.
FISHING ON LAKE KYOGA
This is the second important fishing ground. Its too shallow. Haplochromis, Tilapia and Nile perch are the most common fish caught. Others are Mudfish and Catfish e.t.c.
The lake is characterized by floating Islands of water Hyacinth and a big number of crocodiles which limit fishing.
A number of fishing villages/ports developed including Lwampanga, Kachung, and Nabyeso. Salting, smoking, sun drying, and freezing are used in preserving fish.
FISHING ON LAKE ALBERT
This is the third most important fishing ground. Tilapia, Nile perch are the most important fish caught.
Fishing villages/ports on Lake Albert are:- Butiaba, Wanseko, Biseruka, Buliisa, Buhuka, Ntoroko, Ndaiga and Panyimur.
Salting and smoking are mainly used to preserve fish.
FISHING ON L AKE EDWARD AND GEORGE
Fish caught include, Tilapia, Clarias, Bagrus protopterus e.t.c. The presence of salt from Lake Katwe facilitates the use of salt to preserve fish though smoking is also applied.
One of the problems facing fishing here is that Lake Edward is too deep, the area is infested with Tsetse flies, remoteness, poor transport facilities and fish smuggling to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Major fishing ports are Rwenshama on Lake Edward and Magyo on Lake George.
Fishing is also carried out in swamps e.g. lungfish and mudfish got from swamps along rivers like Katonga and Kagera.
FISHING IN TANZANIA
Fresh water (Inland fisheries) include: Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Rukwa and Rivers like Rufigi, Pangani, Malagarasi and Ruvuma. Fish caught are Tilapia and Nile perch from Lake Victoria. Others are Bagrus, Haplochromis.
Bukoba, Mwanza, and Musoma on Lake Victoria are the major fishing ports.
Lake Tanganyika is the second important fishing ground. Its popularity is known for a small kind of fish called Dagaa which are caught by use of bright lights at night (Lampara method).
The fish are attracted to fish traps by artificial light and then scooped out. Other fish caught are Bagrus and Clarias. Kigoma is the major fishing port along the lake.
Marine fishing is confined to the coast along the Indian Ocean, Mangrove Swamps, and river estuaries.
A lot of marine creatures like Shrimps, Oysters, Crabs, Lobsters, Sardines, and Herrings are caught. However, Marine fishing is not fully developed due to inadequate capital-poor fishing equipment. Important fishing ports along the coast are: Mtwara, Lindi, Tanga, and Dar-es-salaam.
FISHING IN KENYA
Freshwater fishing grounds in Kenya include; – Lake Victoria, Lake Baringo, Lake Turkana, River Athi, Tana and Galana, fish ponds at Nyanza, in the central and western provinces at Homa bay.
Marine fishing grounds are centered only at the coast.
These include: – Malindi fisheries, Lamu, Mombasa and the South Coast fisheries.
Today, Kenya is the leading exporter of fish products in East Africa. Such products include:- Fresh or Frozen Fish, Fish meal, Fish oil, Canned fish, Salted, smoked and dried fish.
Some lakes in East Africa are too salty to contain fish. Such Lakes are barren, they include: – Magadi, Elmenteita and Natron e.t.c.