Fish Species in Uganda Water Bodies
There are two major sources of fish in Uganda; one is from aquaculture, the other from fishing in rivers and lakes. So, different types of fish flourish in different water sources. The major ones include; Nile Perch, Tilapia, Silver fish, Lung fish and Tiger fish, among others. These fish species are found in the fresh waters of Lakes Victoria, Albert, George, Edward, Kyoga and River Nile, among others.
The Nile perch is from fresh water and it generally grows between 85 and 100 centimeters and weighs between 2 and 4 kilograms. However, this predator has been captured and seen at a size of 195 centimeters and is able to reach a weight of 200 kilograms. It is one of the most immense fresh water fish, and can live for up to 16 years. They can most commonly be found in Lake Victoria, which is in East Africa. The Nile perch can also be found in other African river basins in Chad, Senegal, Congo and Volta. They can also be found in the Nile (hence the name) and Lake Maryut in Egypt.
In addition, Tilapia is also rapidly becoming one of the most popular seafood in the United States, with the National Marine Fisheries Service ranking it the fifth most consumed seafood. In fact, American’s annual consumption of Tilapia has quadrupled over the last 4 years, from a quarter pound per person in 2003 to more than a pound in 2007. Furthermore, researchers predict Tilapia is destined to be one of the most important farmed seafood products of the century.
In Uganda they are found in fresh Waters of Lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward, among others.
Finally, Silver Fish (Mukene) is found in the fresh waters of Lake Victoria and is an important fish in the diet of people in eastern and southern Africa. The fish is caught during moonless nights and in the morning it is sold to women who spread it out for drying in the sun. This takes one day or more, depending on the weather.
Unfortunately, the best catches are made during the rainy season when drying is difficult resulting in lower quality of the dried product. The lowest quality is however still usable as chicken feed. Drying is often done on the sand, on rocks or on old nets spread on the grass. Drying racks have not caught on, neither have salting or smoking. So, the dried fish is packed in sacks and traders take the fish to the market.