It has been evident that the introduction of beach seine, nylon gill nets, the use of modern fishing boats and the increased number of fishermen, led to over-fishing which impacts on fish catches in Lake Victoria. Initially, significant surplus catches were made, but soon, as more people invested in the nets, catch rates dropped drastically. The economic returns to fishing have reduced significantly. The emphasis has shifted from traditional, community-based regulatory and management systems to modernization that looking to high-value and value-added fish products for distant markets or bulk catches of species of relatively low economic value to be used as human and animal feeds. This opened unregulated access to resources which resulted in unhealthy competition among actors within the sector. On other hand, it encouraged the use of non-selective and environmentally destructive fishing gear. The negative implications are on the survival of fishing coastal communities both health and economic on income and protein deficient. The lake remains a vital source of food and economic security in the face of rapid change.
For the past two years now, Leadway Company Ltd has been working on fish farming activities and operating cage aquaculture in Tanzania. While Lake’s wild fish populations may not be able to supply the region with adequate of fish in the future, Leadway believes offering an alternative solution of cage aquaculture via floating cage technology will increase fish supply that meet all needs. The cage aquaculture is the viable and sustainable solution for the shortage and generating employment for many coastal communities, if it is well planned, financed and managed. We at Leadway Co Ltd see cage aquaculture as the key to the future economy of the country.