Kenya to deploy 72 vessels to ward off competition in deep-sea fishing

Kenya to deploy 72 vessels to ward off competition in deep-sea fishing

NAIROBI, April 27 (NNN-KBC) — Kenya is planning to deploy 72 vessels in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) to ward off stiff competition for tuna fishing by foreign countries.

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya while appearing before the Senate to respond to questions said the country has developed and deployed a Fleet Development Plan to deploy 54 long liners and 18 purse seiners within the framework of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) in Kenya’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“Kenya has attracted local interest in tuna fishing that has seen 7 tuna long line vessels registered in Kenya, FV Seamar II, FV Sea Mfalme, FV Miss Jane, FV Ocean Eagle, FV Ocean Sniper, FV Newfoundland Alert and FV Shang Jyi,” Mvurya told senators.

According to Mvurya, Tuna fishery in Kenya’s EEZ is dominated by Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFN) that includes the European Union, China, Japan and South Korea.

The government is also targeting to enhance participation of local fishermen in the exploitation of marine resources in order to create jobs and enhance food security.

The government is also targeting to train at least 5,000 local fishermen who will be able to fish beyond 3 nautical miles to deep waters and equip them with safety skills, gear technology, navigation, search and rescue and survival in deep sea. Already 753 fishing crew have successfully been trained.

“The State Department of Fisheries procured three semi-industrial fishing vessels for fishing in the EEZ in Kwale, Kilifi and Lamu counties. The procurement of fishing gear is in process,” he added.

In 2021, Kenya landed 27,306 metric tonnes from marine fisheries in the Indian Ocean out of which, artisanal fishing accounted for 25,380MT and Industrial fishing 1,926MT.

Lake Victoria was the leading fish production source for the country with 94,349MT of fish, L. Turkana 15,644MT and L. Naivasha 1,804MT.

The government further plans to investment in construction of additional fish landing sites and other value addition infrastructure to increase fish production in the country.

Currently, Liwatoni Fishing Complex is the only gazetted fish port in the country with a capacity to process 100MT of fish per day.


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