Fish maws are on high demand
The exploitation of Ugandans in the sale of fish maws in the international market has attracted the attention of MPS, with calls to halt on the sale of the popular fish organ until government can establish the real value of fish maws.
Fish maw also known as swim bladder is a white hard membrane found inside the body of the Nile Perch fish with the organs having gained fame among the Chinese community over their high demand in the Asian nations.
Leading the call was Apollo Masika (Bubulo County East) who noted that President Yoweri Museveni his Tuesday night COVID-19 update speech hinted on the value of fish maws but says that the president seems to have been ill advised as they can be more valuable than what he stated.
Information among exporters of fish maw indicate that a kilogram of small-sized fish maw costs Shs160,000 on the local market while a kilogram of medium-sized maws costs between Shs350,000 and Shs800,000, while the large maw that weighs over a Kilogram costs up to Shs1.1Million, while on the international market, the maw costs between USD450 (Shs1.66m) to USD1,000 (Shs3.69m).
Although information is scanty, reports indicate that on top of fish maw being a delicacy in the Asian nations, it is used to make surgical threads, plane parts and drugs.
Masika says that he has ever been involved in the research on fish maws and thinks that these can be more valuable than Oil exploration saying that unlike Oil which can be depleted, this is a resource that can forever fetch money for Uganda if Government can establish its value.
Masika’s plea was supported by George Abott Ouma (Bukooli Island County), who noted that fishermen on lakes are arrested for being in possession of fish maw, but no one knows where it is being sold.
The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga called on Government to investigate the matter.