The overall vision for fisheries department is “to ensure rational exploitation of natural fisheries and aquaculture resources, so as to sustain fish production at highest possible yields, thereby ensuring optimum fish availability for both present and future generations.’’
The Fisheries Department is therefore mandated “to promote, support and guide the sector at all levels, and also retain the responsibility for enforcing the standards and regulations of all practices pertaining to the fisheries”.
• To support sustainable, market oriented fish production, through proper management of the fisheries resources,
• To promote development of the sector, through planning;
• To control quality and safety of fisheries products; in order to protect consumer health, improve food security and increase household incomes.
Key Functions
• To provide technical guidance for implementation of policies, legislation, standards, plans and strategies in the areas of fisheries production, including fish capture, fish culture, regulation and control;
• To provide the institutional capacity for delivery of services in the sub sector;
• To collaborate with relevant institutions and organizations on issues pertaining to the management of the fisheries resources in sub sector;
• To provide capacity for the generation, dissemination and application of appropriate technologies and the provision of advisory services for the development of value chains in the sub sector.
Jinja district represents the national natural water endowment, with a potential of fisheries resources that can be fully tapped from its diverse water resources, including the major Lake Victoria, the Nile River, and the network of other minor rivers, streams and swamps; that offer very suitable opportunities for the development and promotion of fish production as an enterprise in the district.
In Jinja, the fisheries resource sector directly employs about 1,400 people who are involved in fishing, fish farming, fish processing, and fish marketing; and approximately 7, 000 people, are indirectly employed in support of fisheries activities such as feed manufacture and sales, security services, gear importation and repair, boat construction and repair and provision of other related services.
Fish is one of the 5 priority enterprises for Jinja district, and the Presidential emphasis on aquaculture enterprise as a potential for wealth creation, reflects the importance of the fisheries sector as an institution for accomplishing this task. Therefore, there is a direct need for high caliber, motivated and fully facilitated human capacity to manage the enterprise, if any success is to be realized in achieving the presidential vision and goals.
Pond Fish Farming:
Jinja district has a very high aquaculture potential, as a large number of farmers are getting more interested in the enterprise. So far, there are 119 fish ponds of various sizes, owned by over 76 fish farmers, spread over all the sub-counties in Jinja district. This brings the total area under fish ponds to approximately 58,459.5 square meters, with a potential of producing 210.5 metric tons of fish per annum; with an income worth about, Ushs.1.5 billion.
Cage Fish Farming:
Cage fish farming is an upcoming enterprise which is gaining a lot of momentum. Fish cages have been established, especially on the shores of Lake Victoria and the River Nile; at the Source, and in the now Bujagali dam. There are more potential sites for cage fish farming on L. Victoria, at Wanyange and Wairaka; and along the stretch of River Nile in the sub-counties of Mafubira, Budondo and Butagaya; this potential for cage fish farming can be spread out to cover the rich network of streams and swamps, such as Kiko, Walumbe, and their tributaries that cover the vast surface area of Jinja district. This will transform the trend of aquaculture in the district from semi intensive fish pond practices, to more lucrative intensive fish cage practices.
Jinja district is ranked highest in cage fish farming demonstrations in the country, a trend which will save the declining natural fish stocks of the lake from depletion, thereby increasing fish production levels, and greatly improving farmer livelihoods in the district. So far, there are about 334 fish cages belonging to 49 local farmers, in the district. This represents a total fish cage area of 4,843 square meters, with a potential production turnover figure of about 2,034 metric tons of fish, per annum; worth about Ushs. 14.3 billion.
Fish farmers in Jinja district derive their motivation from the high demand for fish commodity both locally and regionally; with the major regional market exits of the currently farmed fish from Jinja accessing markets in the neibouring Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo and the Central African Republic. The market demand for the fish commodity is so high that more investment and expansion of the enterprise is required to raise the supply level in order to meet the demand.
Other Activities.
The Fisheries department is also involved in continuous sensitization of the fisher folk in their respective beach management unit settings. The objective is to create awareness on topical issues concerning the social and economic aspects of the fishery, in order to increase fish production and improve the welfare of stakeholders.
Various topics are often handled in such sensitization sessions, including the following:
1. Fish handling at landing sites and markets,
2. Controlling illegal fishing activities
3. HIV/AIDS awareness and control
4. Licensing updates
5. Improving house hold incomes.
6. Pond and Cage fish farming
7. BMU executive elections.
8. Question and Answer session.

Demarcation and monitoring of fish breeding areas was carried out on Lake Victoria, at Masese, Wairaka, Wanyange and Kisima II. The objective of the demarcation is to establish fish breeding nursery sites on the lake shores so as to encourage species diversity and conservation, hence ensuring sustainable fish production.
4 breeding areas have been demarcated and are being monitored closely for compliance.
Fish production
1. Fish farming : Fish production from fish farming is currently low at less than 10 tonnes per year. The species of fish being farmed is mainly Oreochromis niloticus (tilapia) and Clarias (Mmale). The fish farming sector has great potential to develop and is currently characterized by small to medium scale farmers with pond sizes ranging from 200m² to 1000m² (attachment 1). Cage fish farming is also showing great potential to improve on farmed fish production. There are now 20 fish cages that are going to be stocked this month of October. The biggest challenge with fish cage farming is security but the district now has 5 Marine personnel deployed to assist with security issues on the waters of lake Victoria in the district.
2. Lake Fisheries: Fish catch data for Jinja district for the year 2011 was 157,972 kgs of Nile perch and 486,613 kgs of Tilapia. Other species contributed 4,109 kgs (Attachment 2).
The district is continuing to license fisherfolk engaged in various fisheries activities. Table 1 below shows the categories of fisherfolk that have been licensed as of March, 2012.
Table 1: Fisherfolk categories licensed as of March, 2015.
Category Number licensed
Fishing vessel 73
Fishing permits 18
Fish transport vessels 08
Fish mongers 01
Total 100

Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS): This is guided by an operational framework effective 1st September 2016 under a co-management arrangement using a fisheries enforcement task.
Jinja district BMU’s
Current status: The guidelines are being reviewed.
The Fisheries department is highly under staffed with a total of 6 staff as below;
No. Name Designation Duty station
1 Namulondo Sarah Principal Fisheries Officer District
2 Walugada Michael Senior Fisheries Officer District
3 Biwoye Victo Fisheries Officer Butagaya
4 Isabirye Charles Fisheries Officer Budondo
5 Keddi John Fisheries Officer Aquaculture