Lamu fishermen ask for modern equipment to ply deep seas citing competition...

Lamu fishermen ask for modern equipment to ply deep seas citing competition from Somali

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Fishermen in Lamu . PHOTO: COURTESY

LAMU,KENYA:Fishermen in Lamu East want the government to help them acquire modern fishing equipment to enable them conduct their trade on the high seas.

The fishermen now feel threatened due to competition for the same market brought about by an influx of Somali fishermen who have flooded the Lamu markets and who are offering cheap prices for their stocks of fish.

Lamu East Fisherpersons Association chair Mohamed Ali said they were concerned that the sector was crumbling and urged for improvement of infrastructure to boost the same.

Local fishermen in the area have for decades been dependent on traditional fishing methods and equipment which aren’t up to date.

The fishermen now feel for the trade to grow and expand,there is need for the government to intervene and give them modern fishing tools that will enable them match up to their competitors.

They said they were especially worried since the Somali fishermen had all the modern fishing tools and were threatening to collapse their local market.

“The county government bought us several boat engines but those aren’t enough. Where will we use them? Most fishermen still use the traditional tools and methods and that’s why there is nothing much in terms of profit.We especially worry about Somali fishermen who seem to have everything needed for deep sea fishing and we can’t match up to that and definitely we can’t compete in the same market and win,” said Ali.

They also urged the government to lift the current ban forbidding Lamu East fishermen from conducting their trade at night.

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The ban has so far been in place for five years.