Fish shortage hits Lamu Island

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Lamu, KENYA: Lamu island is experiencing a high shortage of fish which has made many fish mongers double the prices of the greatly loved commodity.

Normally,a kilo of fresh fish has never exceeded Sh.300 but since the shortage kicked in about a month ago, the prices have shot of to Sh.400 a kilo.

Tourists and visitors who come to Lamu always opt for a meal of fish and the shortage means disaster to hoteliers who now also have to cope with the doubled fish prices.

The situation now means that the amount of fish available in the Lamu markets at the moment is unable to meet the increasing demand from both locals and hoteliers and ordinary fish mongers.

Speaking on Saturday,Lamu’s Director of Fisheries Simon Komu said the shortage of fish has to a larger extent been brought about by the ongoing ban on fishing at night for fishermen from Lamu East due to security concerns.

Komu said the quantity of fish recorded during daytime is way too little to even cater for the subsistence needs of the fishermen and local buyers.

He said there was need for the government to lift the fishing ban in order to enable for the expansion and growth of the fishing sector in Lamu.

The fishing ban came into force in 2011 following a series of terror attacks in Kiunga,Lamu East from Alshabaab militants.

“We are experiencing a huge shortage of fish all over Lamu.the fish caught is very little. We are solely attributing the situation to the ban of fishing at night,”said Komu.

Komu however reassured that the county is in the process of improving infrastructure in the fisheries sector in order to enable fishermen ply their trade in the deeper and more open seas.

Over 80% of Lamu residents depend on fishing for survival.

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