Burundi is a land-locked country with fishing is done on Lake Tanganyika and the rest of the fish comes from smaller lakes such as Lake Rweru, Lake Cohoa, Lake Rugwero, Lake Tshohoha, Lake Kazigiri, Lake Rwihamba, rivers and swamps.
Fishing on Lake Tanganyika contributes fish catch of 250,000 metric tons with yearly production of 167,000 tons.
The sector has been privatized and is managed largely through Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock .
Traditional ad artisanal fishing has been practiced in Burundi by small fishers and farmers, with increased value of fish over the years, however there has been fishing malpractices leading to overfishing.
Fish Species in Burundi
- Tanganikallabes stewarti
- Telmatochromis bifrenatus
- Telmatochromis brichardi
- Telmatochromis dhonti
- Telmatochromis temporalis
- Telmatochromis vittatus
- Tetraodon mbu
- Tilapia rendalli
- Trematocara caparti
- Trematocara kufferathi
- Trematocara marginatum
- Trematocara nigrifrons
- Trematocara stigmaticum
- Trematocara unimaculatum
- Trematocara variabile
- Triglachromis otostigma
- Tropheus duboisi
- Tropheus moorii
- Tropheus polli
- Tylochromis polylepis
- Variabilichromis moorii
- Varicorhinus leleupanus
- Xenochromis hecqui
- Xenotilapia bathyphila
- Xenotilapia boulengeri
- Xenotilapia caudafasciata
- Xenotilapia flavipinnis
- Xenotilapia leptura
- Xenotilapia longispinis
- Xenotilapia melanogenys
- Xenotilapia nasus
- Xenotilapia nigrolabiata
- Xenotilapia ochrogenys
- Xenotilapia ornatipinnis
- Xenotilapia sima
- Xenotilapia spiloptera
- Zaireichthys rotundiceps
Most of the fishing in Burundi waters is done by local communities using imported fishnets and locally made wood canoes.
Methods of fishing used in Burundi include;
- Cast net method: This is where a circular net is used and is put in water, spread and trap fish beneath.
- Hooking: This is where a hook is used to catch fish, the bait is fixed on a hook to attract the fish and this bait is in form of a worm or an insect and as the fish swallow the bait, it is attracted.
- Gill netting: This is where fish is caught by their gills in a net, this net is hang in water held by floats and weights which carry it down.
- Spearing or shooting method: This is where arrows, spears or bows are used to catch fish.
- Scoop net method: This is where a net is held in water and is lifted by the fisher men when ever fish is detected passing over. It is used together with light at night to attract fish to the net.
Challenges in Fishing in Burundi
- Poor regulatory framework of the fishing effort and fishing methods.
- Environmental pollution of water systems by excessive erosion of farmlands. Almost total depletion of natural fish stocks through overfishing.
- Inadequate Fishing cooperatives that are geared towards harvesting with no inputs into the fisheries.
- Lack of institutions for management of research and advisory services.
- There is no reliable data on the size of the fish stocks to guide management decisions.
- Insufficient trained human resource to manage the sector.
- Lack of aquaculture technologies and innovations.
- Insufficient advisory services.