Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association (UFPEA) have clarified on reports circulating on media alleging them for requesting the government to ban consuming Nile Perch locally.
Last week when Fish exporters met with the Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries to present their view on the Fisheries and Aquaculture Bill, UFPEA Chairman Sujal Goswami was quoted calling for the banning of local eating of Nile perch a comment that sparked public mixed reactions.
However, , UFPEA CEO Ovia Matovu Katiti yesterday said their chairman Mr. Sujal just made a suggestion but the media misquoted him thus causing a public uproar.
Ms Katiti noted that Mr Sujal was giving a suggestion since Uganda loses a lot of fish in unregulated routes.
“As an industry, we need to clarify and reiterate that the statement which caused uproar in the media particularly social media was not among the points submitted to the committee for consideration. It was just a matter of suggestion out of the meeting which was not well-reported and the meaning was misconstrued.”
She added that if Uganda is to safeguard the fishing industry for economic development and employment, their suggestion needed to be looked into and channeled through the industry, promote and protect Nile Perch which is a local delicacy for the increased populace whose demand for nutrition and food security is increasing.
He however urged the public to focus on the 9 points corrections they presented before the committee rather than jumping on something very small which they did not even understand well.
Among the points they presented include; Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Committee (FATC) to play the oversight role in the Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) unit.
The proper fish handling at landing sites for food safety for both local and international consumption, among others since the issue of food safety and quality is a key factor in terms of guaranteeing the continuous access and consolidation of key markets and ensuring the safety of all consumers in the regional and local markets.
Uganda Fish Processors and Exporters Association (UFPEA) is an organization that brings together all industrial fish processors in Uganda and was founded in 1992.