The operation was conducted by the Police and local leaders to fight the increasing cases of illegal fishing and use of destructive fishing gears.
Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Hamdun Twizeyimana, the Police spokesperson for Eastern Region, said all the suspects were fishing illegally at night in Lake Karaba and were using destructive fishing nets called Kaningini, which catch and kill even the young fishes.
“We have arrested the six people, who were doing illegal and dangerous fishing practices that affect fish growth and lead to fish depletion, especially when using such fishing gears that net and kill even the juvenile fish,” he said.
He advised people involved in these unlawful activities to refrain and warned of that operations are continuous.
“These operations are continuous and aim at arresting anyone that breaches laws and regulations governing fishing in Rwanda. Those who violate the law will face the wrath of the law,” CIP Twizeyimana warned.
CIP Twizeyimana further urged fishing cooperatives and communities living along the lake to report anyone they suspect to be involved in illegal or criminal activities in the waters.
“Conduct your fishing business in a legal and responsive way; report those who break the law including smugglers and drug traffickers,” he urged.
The law N°58/2008 of 10/09/2008 determining the organization and management of aquaculture and fishing in Rwanda provides that the right to fishing in public waters is only granted by a competent authority, which issues fishing licence.
Any person, who engages in fishing activities without authorisation shall be liable to a fine ranging from Rwf50, 000 to Rwf200, 000 and an imprisonment of 3 to 6 months or one of them and dispossession of the equipment used.
Article 11 outlaws use of “poisonous substances aimed at stunning, weakening or killing fish; applying explosives; using electromagnetic procedures or electrocution; flashing water with an aim of capturing fish; fishing where water organisms are reproduced.”