>>BY BRAMWEL CHENG’WALI>>
Kenya has a lot of untapped resources in the blue economy.
This is according to Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya.
Speaking in Mombasa during the Kenya Water and Sanitation International Conference and Exhibition 2023, the CS said that Kenya still had a lot to gain economically from the blue economy.
“Blue economy is the next mover of Kenya’s economy, this sector is going to control about 25% of our gross domestic product,” said CS Mvurya.
He said the government was planning to transform Beach Management Units (BMUs) into savings and credit cooperative societies as a means of tapping into the sector.
“As a ministry, we have identified 450 BMUs that we are going to develop into savings and credit co-operatives,” said CS Mvuyra.
With the government intervention to change these units into well-structured Sacco’s, majority of fishermen are hopeful that some of the challenges including lack of storage facilities and the market will be solved.
“Coast region for a long time has remained behind in fishing despite bordering the sea, we do not benefit as much as we should from the sea,” lamented one of the fishermen.
Mvuyra urged fishermen to join the Sacco’s as soon as they become operational to gain financial support among other benefits.
“It’s very difficult to solve the fishermen’s problems individually, we need them to join the societies,” urged Mvuyra.
Also, the government will invest heavily in new fishing technologies and modern boats to scale up from artisanal fishing to exclusive economic fishing.
Mvuyra said his ministry has already issued 26 modern boats to beach management units in the coast region to boost fishing activities.
The CS affirmed his commitment to protect the interest of the Kenyan fishers, by curbing illegal fishing through the review of the fishing act and imposition of a 20 percent excise duty on imported fish as proposed in the finance bill 2023.