Fishing for samaki

The waters surrounding Rubondo island are protected, they in fact constitute the only protected bit of water on Lake Victoria. Therefore the surrounding shores make an excellent breeding ground for local fish, such as Tilapia and introduced Nile Perch. Unfortunately local fishermen are paid lots of money to fish in these waters because there is so much fish here and stocks have been heavily depleted in other parts of Lake Victoria. The fish is taken for consumption to Uganda, Rwanda, the UK as well as other parts of Tanzania.

Every week the rangers catch fishermen camping out on the island.

Fishing is the main source of livelihood for many people in the surrounding villages; around 120 poachers, exclusively men and young boys, are caught each month. When poachers are caught their catch is seized and they are taken to a local prison in Geita before being taken to court. Many serve a jail sentence of several years whilst others get off and return to poaching fish here if they have the money and connections to bribe officials.

The boats are of course also confiscated and burnt on site in the park.

In order to legally fish in the waters surrounding Rubondo you have to obtain a special liscence which costs $50 for non-East Africans (for 3 days), and $1 for Tanzanians. Sometimes visitors catch some mighty huge fish here…

This is a 50 Kg nile perch

I have yet to catch any fish…

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About Nadejda Josephine

I am currently studying for a doctorate in Anthropology at University College London. My fieldwork takes place on Rubondo Island, Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The research looks at the nesting patterns and nest architecture in the Rubondo chimpanzees. I began the work in April 2012 and will remain on the island until at least October 2013. I write this blog so as not to forget this wonderful island and the random events which occur throughout my fieldwork.

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