Lake Victoria, the largest lake of Africa, used to have a very diverse fish environment. In order to boost the fishing industry, in the 50’s the predator fish ‘Nile perch’ got introduced in the lake which resulted almost in the extinction of the cichlids, a native fish, and messed up the biodiversity of the lake.

 

Today the main catches are tilapia, nile perch and dagaa (smalll sardine) but the fish stock is declining..

 

After the fish is caught and filleted, the remains are further prepared for consumption. The leftovers are salted, some parts are smoked and packed in larger units. While the fillets are meant for export, the leftovers go to the less powerfull segment of the market. .

 

When I arrived at the Gaba fish market, I saw sceneries that made me feel like being in  the ‘underworld’. People were wrapped in a veil of smoke. The air was saturated with a strong fish smell and the sky had turned into warm grey tones. While the fish processors were finishing their daily tasks, others were preparing a kind of soup. The whole environment and a big cooking pot standing on a fire gave me the feeling of witnessing witchcraft.

In a distance I could see a marabou, one of these large scavenger birds waiting to grab some food.

 

Kampala, Uganda, 2016

Currently in quarantine in the Philippines

(update October 2020) 

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