A new research has established that the usage of electric solar lamps during fishing on water bodies is safe and environmentally friendly.
Fishing lights are majorly applied in fishing small pelagic fish species commonly known as mukene, muziri, and ragoogi on lakes.
In March last year, a team of fishermen petitioned the Fisheries ministry claiming the lamps were a threat to big species such as Tilapia and Nile Perch.
This lead to a ban on their usage on the lakes, and fishermen were encouraged to use paraffin lanterns. Following the ban, the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute conducted a study on the solar lamps. It was established that fishing using electric solar lights is a better and safer approach to the activity.
Speaking during a media briefng about the research in Kampala at the weekend, the commissioner for renewable energy in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Brian Isabirye, said the use of electric solar lights is environmentally friendly.
Mr Isabirye further revealed that the government will not rush to ban the usage of paraffin lanterns, but would instead promote the use of electric solar lights, increase access and facilitate loans to enable fishermen to acquire the lighting systems.
“We shall not ban the use of kerosene lanterns now, but rather encourage the fishermen to access the solar lights. We shall work with the traders and the entire private sector to avail the lights to the fishing communities,” he added.