The Burundi government has announced that fishing in Lake Tanganyika will be prohibited starting from May this year, according to the country’s environment minister Sanctus Niragira.
“This is true that no fishing activity will be allowed on the Lake Tanganyika starting from May until August this year in all the four countries that shares the lake,” said Mr. Sanctus.
According to Gitega the decision was made by the Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA) in efforts to preserve the ecosystem of the lake and its growth.
Africa’s deepest Lake Tanganyika was named as the threatened lake of the year 2017 by Global Nature Fund, the lake is home to over 1500 animal species and shared by four countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Zambia.
The lake remains the source of income to more than 10 million people living around the shores, raising population, pollution and over exploitation are a major threat to the lake according to the Global Nature Fund a non- profit foundation aimed at protecting the environment.
At least one hundred thousand people are directly involved in the fisheries operating from almost 800 sites.
The lake basin faces multiple challenges, resulting from the activities of rapidly expanding human populations in the riparian countries, between 1995to 2011 the total fish stock has decreased by 25% while the number of fisherman increased four times.
The East African Legislative Assembly in November last year released a report that indicated that the lake was facing an excessive pollution, “in Bujumbura alone there are many industries that are around the shores of the lake such as soap factories, breweries and waste from these factories always finds its way to the lake,” part of the report reads.
Industrial, craft and domestic waste from the cities and villages along the lake are directly discharged into the lake without any pre-treatment. The threat still remains as natural habitats around the Lake are destructed by the expansion of land use for agriculture or construction.