Mombasa, KENYA: Local fishermen in Mombasa are counting profits after offloading 986 Kgs of fish from the deep sea using the recently launched fishing vessel MV001.
Swaleh Ramadhan, one f the fishermen who have just returned back to Mombasa from a three day fishing expedition in Pemba-Tanzania, said the vessels has increased their earnings as it has enabled them to navigate in deep sea and increase their catch, unlike traditional fishing methods that only allowed them to fish close by.
“We thank the County for supporting us with this boat. First of all it is big with a large storage capacity. Initially we used to use small boats which could not take as far and our catch was very small with small storage. The farthest place we could go was Ukunda in Kwale County,” said Mr. Ramadhan.
He said that the boat has also enabled them to chase after fish which move away in deep sea and other places due to changing temperatures and as such ensured they have continuous supply of fish.
On Sunday, the fishermen brought 986kg after a three-day fishing expedition in the deep sea, within the 200 nautical miles of the Kenyan coast.
Ramadhan who is also the Captain of MV001, said that the boat unlike the smaller ones, is also low risk as it can withstand huge tides and also time effective because of its engine power.
He said after such fishing expeditions, they get ready market for the fish from suppliers and traders from local markets.
He added that the boat has also been instrumental in promoting employment of youth in the fishing industry owing to its capacity to accommodate huge catch of fish.
“Those of us who went out on the fishing trip were six, all fishermen and this is just our crew. As at now, we are a group of eight fishermen who use this boat,” he added.
Mercy Mghanga who is the Vice Chairperson of Beach Management Unit (BMU), an association of fishermen and traders in Mombasa, said the boat has improved the fishing industry in the County.
She observed that the only challenge they encounter to increase storage capacity for the fish in order to increase market and promote more employment.
Other fish which have also been previously caught through the help of the boat include barracuda, small sharks, tiger shark among others.
The boat fitted with state of the art machinery was locally made through the Department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) for Sh15 million.
The 10-tonne capacity vessel was launched in November last year by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. The first voyage was on November 24.
MV 001, has made eight successful deep-sea excursions, helping fishermen harvest 6,117kg of fish since its first trip.