With the support of GBIF through the BID project "Increasing capacity for conservation of threatened fish species through data mobilization and training" (BID-AF2017-0206-SMA), to acquire equipment for handling and transporting fish collections in and out of the museum, and the JRS Biodiversity Foundation for co-facilitating the event, the National Fisheries Research Institute (NaFIRRI) exhibited over 70 different fish species at the Jinja Fish Festival on 2 December 2018.
The NaFIRRI fish exhibition attracted people from different walks of life, who were surprised to see and learn that the country has such rich aquatic biodiversity.
Many of the people who came to the festival only knew about species such as Nile tilapia, Nile perch and the Silver cyprinid, which they see on their plates, pans or market stalls every day. They were not aware that Uganda has over 300 fish species.
At the festival, people had the opportunity to see some of these fish (some live swimming in glass tanks), and learn about the fascinating features that separate seemingly similar fishes, the water bodies where they can be found, and the threats they face.
The knowledge of this rich aquatic biodiversity is not necessarily widely and publicly known, and with the support from GBIF and JRS Biodiversity Foundation, the NaFIRRI is working to overcome this.
This event, together with the support of GBIF and JRS have been considered timely by NaFIRRI, to make the public aware of these aspects of biodiversity, in order to collectively conserve fishes and their habitats. People were also excited to learn of NaFIRRI’s current projects to bring all this information (including photos and local species names) to the comfort of their smart phones and tablets.