Contribution of Fish from Nabisogyo Wetland to the Livelihoods of Fishermen in Wakyato Sub-County, Nakaseke District Uganda
Ssemyalo, Mwesigwa Samuel
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Nabisogyo wetland is a highly productive, biologically diverse ecosystem that sustains people’s livelihoods in Nakaseke District. It provides habitat to numerous fish species which are a source of animal protein and also provides income to people involved in the fisheries activity. However, it was realized that there’s a lack of available information about the fish species that inhabit Nabisogyo wetland and their contribution to the livelihoods of fishermen involved in the fishing activity. So, this research documented the different fish species that inhabit this wetland and how the harvested fish contribute to sustaining the fishermen’s livelihoods. Six fish species were identified that included; Clarias spp., Protopterus spp., Oreochromis spp., Haplochromines spp., Lates spp., Mormyrus kannume and “Miguya” a young Protopterus spp. From the interviews with the 23 fishermen, it was found out that the fish provide protein for their families and also a source of income when sold. Income from the sales of fish is a source of livelihood to these fishermen in the following ways; Education for children; Purchasing agricultural inputs; Paying transport fees; Provide money for rent and housing; Purchasing food for their families. However, the fishermen face problems such as price fluctuations; unstable markets; theft among fishermen and taxes imposed on them dependent on the fishing equipment possessed by each fisherman. This combined hinder realization of the provisioning of the fish caught from this wetland to the livelihoods of fishermen. Market prices at national level for the fish species harvested from the wetland should be put in place and the District Fisheries Officer (DFO) should always provide the fishermen with the updates for the fish prices on the Uganda market.