Gov’t To Support Fishing Industry

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PHOTO BY AFP

Blue Economy Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya has revealed the government’s plans to boost fishing activities in the country.

Speaking in Mombasa after opening a two-day consultative meeting with the Council of Governors’ blue economy committee and development partners, Mvurya said Beach Management Units under Saccos and Cooperatives will be able to access credit conveniently in a bid to empower those engaged in fishing activities.

The CS further added that the government will support artisanal fishermen to acquire sizable boats equipped with cold storage facilities and ice-making machines so as they engage in deep-sea fishing.

According to CS Mvurya, Kenya is harvesting about 25,000 metric tons of fish in the Indian Ocean against a potential of up to 300,000 metric tons annually. This, he blamed among other challenges lack of capital to acquire relevant equipment.

He stated that those in organized groups will be trained and supported to acquire key equipment such as sizeable boats fitted with cold storage facilities and ice-making machines, ideal for deep-sea fishing.

Speaking during the forum, leaders from different regions led by Lamu governor Issa Timamy underscored the role played by the blue economy in job creation, income generation, and food security.

Timamy who also chairs the CoG committee on Blue economy said that the sector is a priority area for the Counties noting that the sector already supports an estimated two million people directly and indirectly as fishers, traders, processors, input suppliers, merchants of fishing accessories, and providers of related services.

Busia governor Paul Otuoma reiterated the need to align county and national government t objectives as far as the blue economy is concerned.

He called for changes in policies especially those affecting fishing in our exclusive economic zones saying that foreign vessels have been overfishing in the area at the expense of local fishermen.

“We are now even getting farmed fish from China which should not be the case. Our people need tools and inputs required in terms of seedlings, fish and extension services to produce food”

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