Reducing Hunger and Malnutrition by Optimizing Small Pelagic Fisheries Production and Consumption


SmallFishFood project

Aims at Reducing Hunger and Malnutrition by Optimizing the Production and Consumption of Sliver cyprinid, Rastrineobola argetea (Mukene)

In most African nations, the Sub–Saharan Africa in particular, population growth rate is greater than 3% per year (PRB, 2014). As a result, Africa has the lowest worldwide per capita consumption of animal-sourced protein and the second lowest supply of fish per capita. Because fisheries production, especially of large fish (less than 20 cm total length), which contribute at least 30% of total animal protein intake, have stagnated, there is eminent threat of hunger and malnutrition in the most vulnerable riparian communities.

In Uganda there are opportunities to mitigate the negative consequences of hunger and malnutrition by optimizing production and consumption of Sliver cyprinid, Rastrineobola argetea (Mukene) which contributes significantly to the total biomass and catches of Lake Victoria fisheries.

Dominant pelagic fishes in Uganda.

In Uganda, the dominant small pelagic species consist of Mukene in lakes Victoria, Kyoga and Nabugabo, and Ragooge and Muziri in Lake Albert. This project will apply and build on existing information to illustrate how small pelagic species can be used to optimize fish production, nutrition, income and employment using Mukene in Lake Victoria as a case study given that its biomass virtually doubled from 0.74 to 1.4 million tons in just half a decade between 2008 in 2015 (LVFO 2015).

Read more The project will be highly participatory and will involve the key target beneficiaries along the value chain including fisherfolk, fish processors, traders, feed producers, policy makers, resource managers and scientists. It will be operated in two pilot areas where there is intensive Mukene fishing, one in the northern portion of Lake Victoria covering inshore and offshore areas with different fishing intensity and the other at Lambu near Masaka in the southern part of the lake, but will also involve selected markets, feed producers and consumers in the Lake Victoria region. The project will ensure balance of gender depending on their involvement along the fish value chain.


To improve food security and reduce hunger and malnutrition through optimizing small pelagic fisheries production and consumption.

Objective 1

Identify, quantify and map current patterns of production and distribution of Mukene in Lake Victoria for food and feed

Objective 2

Identify and describe the harvesting, marketing and utilization patterns of Mukene in Lake Victoria, and how it contributes to food and nutritional security

Objective 3

Improve the production processes to achieve better quality and longer shelf life of Mukene

Objective 4

Disseminate the nutritious value of Mukene to stakeholders and governance agencies and analyse how barriers to sustainable utilization can be resolved

Useful Information on small Fish Pelagic

Facts to know about Small Pelagic fishes Mukene, Ragoge, and Muziri .


Mukene are small pelagic fishes that grow to a maximum length of about 60 mm and weight of about 10g. The legal mesh size of the nets for harvesting Mukene is 10 mm.


Short snout Small and non-protractile mouth; teeth firmly fixed, those of the outer series stout and not compressed basally Two series of functional multi-cuspidate teeth in the upper jaw, the outer series usually tri-cuspid and less massive than the stout, many cusped teeth in the inner series .


Engraulicypris: engraulis, anchovy, referring to anchovy-like shape and coloration (and presumably its shoaling and zooplanktivory as well) cypris. A small lateral line situated below the middle of flank and caudal peduncal, and a cheek below the eye covered by thin sub-orbital bones


Project Staff

Scientist responsible for the implementation of the project.

Dr Winnie Nkalubo

Project PI

Dr. Vianny Natugonza

Project Staff

Mangeni Richard Sande

Project Staff

Mugeni Bairon

Project staff