(Special for CAFS) Fisheries body launches 12 million USD fish farming project in East Africa

DAR ES SALAAM, June 2, (Xinhua/GNA)- The Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) on Tuesday unveiled a project that seeks to promote fish farming in East Africa.

LVFO is a specialized institution of the East African Community (EAC) whose mandate is to coordinate the management and development of fisheries and aquaculture resources in the EAC region.

A statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha said the TrueFish project, which is worth about 12 million U.S. dollars, was designed to address or remove impediments to growth in aquaculture faced by investors, including lack of technically skilled operators.

The statement mentioned other impediments to growth in aquaculture in the east African region as lack of investment finance, business planning and incomplete networks.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Arusha, Kenneth Bagamuhunda, the EAC director general for Customs and Trade, said the second objective of the TrueFish project is to address identified threats which could undermine the sustainability of aquaculture development.

He singled out some of the challenges facing the fishing industry on Lake Victoria such as steadily declining stocks of Nile perch and tilapia, fish diseases, uncontrolled proliferation of fish farms and rising water levels.