The need for assessments of the status of the fishery sector and the fishing effort on a sustainable basis to guide management of the fishery is very important. The fishery of Lake Victoria is to a large extent supporting the micro and macro economies of the three Partner States of Kenya Tanzania and Uganda and its sustainable development is crucial to the communities depending on the resources. The biennial Frame Surveys conducted since the year 2000 to 2012 provide a comprehensive picture of the status of facilities and services in the fisheries sector and how fishing effort and capacity has been changing for proper planning, development and management of the sector.
The Frame survey data from 2000 to 2008 indicated an upward trend for the number of fishers and fishing craft and gear, and raised serious concern for management of fishng effort. However, the 2010 survey presented a different trend which rerversed again in 2012. In 2010 the number of fishers decreased by 2.5%, fishing craft by 4.3%, gillnets <5 (Illegal) inches by 23.5%, gillnets >5 inches (legal) by 12.1%; and number of longlines sizes 4-7, & 8-10 by 11.3% and 2.7% respectively while in 2012 all these parameter presented an upward trend. The number of fishers increased by 5.7%, fishing craft by 7.7%, gillnets <5 (Illegal) inches by 26.2%, gillnets >5 inches (legal) by 17.5%; and number of longlines sizes <4, 4-7, & >10 by 227.8%, 8.6% and 35.9% respectively. Nearly all the illegal gears increased. Beach seines increased by 16.9%, monofilaments by a record 113.8% and cast nets by 21.0% but traps/baskets decreased by 26.9%. These destructive gears affect mainly the juveniles and brooders because they are operated in breeding/nursery grounds.
There has been a gradual increase in number of fishing crafts using outboard engines from 4,108 in 2000 to 6,552 (59%) in 2002, to 9,609 (47%) in 2004, to 12,765 (33%) in 2006, to 13,721 (7.5%) in 2008, to 16,188 (18%) in 2010 and to 20,217 (24.9%) in 2012. The rate of increase was very low from 2006 to 2008, but seems to start picking up again from 2008 to 2012. This suggests that the fishers who go offshore in search of fish are increasing over time but still a very low proportion (29% engines and 11% sails) of all the fishing crafts. This indicates that about 60% of the fishing on Lake Victoria is in relatively inshore/shallow waters which are mainly sensitive nursery and breeding grounds.
Provision of facilities to landing sites indicated a gradual increase. Number of landing sites with jetties/pontoon increased from 96 in 2010 to 113 in 2012, a 17.7% increase. Fish bandas decreased by 3.6%, from 279 in 2010 to 269 in 2012; boat repair facilities have increased by 23.5% from 553 in 2010 to 683 in 2012; cold rooms (working) increased by 114.3% from 7 in 2010 to 15 in 2012; Fish stores increased by 53.6% from 69 in 2010 to 106 in 2012; net repair facilities increased by 34.9% from 318 in 2010 to 429 in 2012. All weather roads increased by 22.8% from 451 in 2010 to 554 in 2012. Electricity supply to landing sites increased by 5.7% from 106 landing sites in 2010 to 112 in 2012. Smoking kilns registered an increase of 13.4% from 367 in 2010 to 416 in 2012 while drying racks increased from 126 to 165 (28.9%) during the same period. Otherbasic facilities such as toilets increased by 21.5% from 493 in 2010 to 599 in 2012 while portable water increased by 67.3% from 156 in 2010 to 261 in 2012 and this is good as it is key for hygiene and sanitation at landing sites to ensure health communities and maintaining quality of the fishery products. Shops selling fishing gears had an increase of 40.3% from 305 in 2010 to 428 in 2012. Landing sites having network coverage had an increase of 6.7% from 1,282 to 1,368 between 2010 and 2012.
In 2012, only 7.7% of landing sites were supplied by electricity, 46.7% had boat repair facility, 1.0% Cold rooms (working), 7.3% had fish store, 29.4% net repair facility, 37.9% were accessible by all weather roads, 17.9% had portable water, 41.0% had public toilets and 18.4% of the landing sites had bandas. There were 428 landing sites with shops selling fishing gears in 2012, Communication in terms of mobile phone networks increased with almost 93.6% of the landing sites covered in 2012
Some facilities as schools and health clinics were assessed if available within 2 km distance from a given landing site. Primary schools increased by 4.0% from 957 in 2010 to 995 in 2012 an increase of 38 schools and health clinics increased by 10.5% from 551 to 609 clinics during the same time, but the coverage is low, 68.1% and 41.7% of all landing sites have a primary school and a health clinic respectively within 2km distance in 2012.
Services at landing sites for HIV/ AIDS awareness increased by 7.9% from 969 in 2010 to 1,035 in 2012; VCT services increased by 19.8% from 837 to 1,003; and provision of ARVs increased by 30.4% from 529 to 690 during the same period. Number of landing sites which received help to orphans were 354 in 2010 and this increased by 8.5% to 384 in 2012.
The percentage number of landing sites visited by factory agents increased from 599 in 2010 to 685 in 2012. Landing sites with BMU offices increased from 415 in 2010 to 640 in 2012, landing site on private land increased from 509 to 679 while landing sites which are fenced increased from 87 to 140. The landing sites tendering tax collection increased by 9.3% from 825 to 902 and landing sites issuing daily fish movement permits increased by 15.6% from 519 to 600.