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August 20, 2008

Over-fishing to cost Uganda $60 million in lost export earnings

Uganda's fisheries sector is projected to lose up to $60m this year because of overfishing and illegal catching of the nation's second highest export earner, an official has said.

Fish stocks in Uganda have declined sharply in recent years. Fish export revenues in 2007 dropped by $19.4m from the previous year to $117.3m.

"Last year we lost up to $20m and our projections are that it is likely to triple to $60m by the end of this year," said Wilson Waiswa Mwanja, head of the fisheries and resources department.

Fishing is Uganda's second largest export earner after coffee. The country boasts four major lakes; Lake Victoria, the largest shared with Kenya and Tanzania, Lake Albert, Lake George and Lake Kyoga.

Other exports in this relatively stable economy include coffee, cotton, flowers, fruits and vegetables, honey and human capital.

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