Sand mining in Lake Victoria and conflict stimulating reduced fishing opportunities

Lake Victoria is already experiencing multiple threats ranging from invasive species, climate change and pollution. A recent paper concluded that the threats are causing rapid ecosystem change in the lake (Hecky et al. 2010; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02374.x/abstract;jsessionid=4A92CC1C43B62F84C520E05C5959C705.f03t02). Changes occurring include habitat loss, which ultimately will affect the benefits obtained from the lake.

Indeed, evidence of reduced fishing opportunities  have been known to us for a longtime expected consequences such as conflicts are  becoming common. Recently, I wrote a long blog that appeared in a leading local new paper in Uganda, the New Vision (http://www.newvision.co.ug/) and you can check it out here (laban-musinguzi-a-proposal-to-ensure-harmony-among-fishers-on-lake-victoria) and get more details. The main message is that fishers are engaging in serious conflict and literature proves that it is associated to reduced fishing opportunities.

Unfortunately, the threats leading to the conflicts are only escalating. Sand mining has started intensifying in the lake, near its shorelines and the catchment, and will potentially add on habitat loss, endangering fish species. The Daily monitor (http://www.monitor.co.ug/), another leading news paper in Uganda published my thoughts about this issue which you can find here laban-musinguzi-personal-view-on-sand-mining-in-lake-victoria.

To sustain the benefits from Lake Victoria as well as promote harmony among fishers  need stronger efforts than never before from all concerned stakeholders.

Reference

Hecky et al. 2010. Multiple stressors cause rapid ecosystem change in Lake Victoria. Freshwater Biology, 55(1), 19-42. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02374.x

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