Fishermen lash out at the national government over negligence

Fishermen in Likoni PHOTO COURTESY

Mombasa,KENYA:Fishermen in Mombasa County are blaming the  national government over what they term as negligence of the sector.

Speaking to Baraka fm on Thursday Juma Abdalla a committee member in the Likoni Beach Management Unit (LBMU) claimed the money allocated to boost the industry does not reach the targeted people.

Abdalla said the fishermen in the area were affected by the dredging carried out on sea shores for the expansion of the port and adding that the sand dumped in the fishing area has led to environmental pollution.

“Fishermen in Likoni were adversely affected by  dredging that was conducted aimed at expanding the port. This sand dumped led to pollution of the environment.” He lamented.

However Shaaban Matano a fisherman in the area observed that previously they used to get a good catch but that has changed since  dredging was carried out.

“The Likoni residents were the mostly affected as most of the sand was dumped around the Shelly Beach thus hindering fishing here.” Matano declared.

On the other Doctor David Kehara the acting chief Officer from the department of Agriculture Livestock and Fishing Mombasa County said for many years the fishing industry has been done on substance scale taking into consideration the methods used during the fishing expedition in all the six counties.

Kehara said that the county government of Mombasa has constructed a state of the art fish market with a freezing facility aimed at assisting fish farmers preserve their catches to avoid spoilage.

“We have constructed a modern fish market with a freezing apartment that aims at preserving fish from fish farmers. It has a capacity of preserving ten tones.” He said.

According to the Food And Agricultural Organisation survey conducted in 2016 Kenya’s fisheries and aquaculture sector contributed approximately 0.54 percent to the country’s GDP in 2013 while the value of fish exports was about USD 62.9 million in 2012.

The survey also indicated that in 2013, around 129 300 people derived their livelihood from fishing and fish farming activities including 48 300 in inland waters, 13 100 in coastal waters fishing and around 67 900 in fish farming while the total fishery and aquaculture production in 2013 amounted to 186 700 tonnes, with 83 percent coming from inland capture fisheries.

The Kenyan marine waters host a large variety of fish species, including fin fishes: pelagics, such as king fish and tunas and mixed pelagics; demersal species, such as rabbit fish, snapper, and black skin.