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Microbiological Safety of Small Pelagic Fishery: Case of L. Albert, Uganda

Author Affiliations

  • 1Food Biosciences and Agribusiness Research Program, National Agricultural Research Laboratories, 7065, Kampala, UGANDA

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 4, Issue (7), Pages 19-23, July,10 (2015)


Microbiological data was generated as a pre-requisite for development of a quality management system for small pelagic fisheries on L. Albert. Representative landing sites known for small pelagic fishery on L. Albert namely Butiaba, Walukuba and Bugoigo were assessed for water quality and overall hygiene using microbiological indicators. Contact surfaces were swabbed and they included; fishing boat, small pelagic fish (skin), fisher hands, fishing net. The Heterotrophic Plate Counts (HPC) indicated that the offshore water quality was significantly higher than inshore water (?<0.05)notwithstanding the relatively high counts; 1.36x104 to 2.0x105 CFU/mL. E. coli count was highest in the inshore water of Walukuba at >1.1x105 and lowest in offshore water (Bugoigo) at 1.0x102MPN/100mL. Vibrio spp. showed seasonality as it was absent in water samples analysed in June while it was detected in October for all landing sites. Presumptive biochemical characterization indicates that the dominant species are V. cholerae and V. parahaemolyticus. Total Plate Counts (TPC) were high especially from the fishing boats (2.76x105CFU/10cm2) and nets (6.35x106 CFU/10cm2 ). Fishers' hands (Bugoigo), when washed had relatively lower counts (3.18x102 CFU/10cm2 ) compared to unwashed (6.2x104 CFU/10cm2 ) however, washing was not the usual practice. The highest count on small pelagic fish was 1.96x105 while the lowest was 1.4x103 CFU/10cm2 . Generally, the microbiological quality of the lake water was poor and varied with season and distance from the shore. Hygiene and sanitation of fishers, small pelagic fish and fish handling surfaces of the selected landing sites was unsatisfactory.


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