Lake Victoria supports one of the largest freshwater fisheries in the world, offering a critical source of food to its surrounding countries. Indigenous to Lake Victoria, the Nile Perch dominates Tanzania’s whitefish industry and is the high-value species upon which Vicfish Ltd and Bahari Bounty Group were founded.
However, like many natural resources the Nile Perch would become depleted if harvested irresponsibly. Indeed, experts estimate that three quarters of all fish stocks in the world are fully exploited and one quarter is already overfished. Urgent action is required if the Nile Perch is to avoid this fate.
Our approach to sustainability, particularly in the context of our fishery operations, involves implementing programmes to ensure our natural resources last forever. To this end, we are totally committed to sustainable fishing methods and fish stock management, both on Lake Victoria and in our capture fishery sites at sea. We also ensure that the availability of Nile Perch and other species can be maintained for present and future generations without degrading natural fresh and saltwater ecosystems.
To relieve pressure on the wild fisheries of Lake Victoria, we have created an aquaculture fish pond at our Bugabo site in Bukoba. This natural facility promotes fish farming among the local community, provides a constant source of protein, generates income and conserves natural resources.
Across all our sites, we only ever use eco-labelled fishermen who have gone through a rigorous approval process. Following eco-labelling protocol, our fishermen must return all juvenile or undersized fish in order to maintain future stocks and refrain from using illegal and potentially harmful fishing equipment.
To ensure these rules are adhered to, our Beach Monitoring Units (BMUs) and Landing Site Monitors (LSMs) carry out additional pre-processing checks on fish size and weight. We also raise awareness of our eco-labelling projects through art competitions and community engagement schemes in schools – for example, at the Kemondo Secondary School in Bukoba.
These resource conservation efforts are formalised in our Naturland Eco Label Project, which sets standards relating to the social, economic and ecological sustainability of our Nile Perch fisheries.