New po­lice boats to boost war on il­le­gal fish­ing

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - BUSINESS - BY GITONGA MARETE

Kenya Po­lice Ser­vice has ac­quired six ar­moured boats to pa­trol of its por­tion of the In­dian Ocean as it moves to tame sea crim­i­nals and il­le­gal fish­ing.

In­spec­tor Gen­eral of po­lice Joseph Boin­net said the boats, sup­plied by Korean firm Fine Inc, at a cost of Sh1 bil­lion, would be used to beef up se­cu­rity in the coun­try’s wa­ters which stretch 200 nau­ti­cal miles.

“They will help in the fight against drugs, ter­ror­ism, piracy con­tra­band goods and other types of in­ter­na­tional crime,” Mr Boin­net said when he launched the boats at the Mom­basa port on Thurs­day.

The ac­qui­si­tion of the surveil­lance boats come just weeks af­ter the Cab­i­net ap­proved a bill to guide the setting up of a Coast Guard Ser­vice, a spe­cialised agency which will even­tu­ally take up the task of pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity on the Kenyan wa­ters.

There have been con­cerns over ris­ing cases of un­reg­u­lated and il­le­gal fish­ing within Kenyan wa­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to the Fish­eries Depart­ment, the coun­try loses more than Sh10 bil­lion worth of fish ex­ports to il­le­gal fish­ing an­nu­ally since the depart­ment is un­able to po­lice the Exclusive Eco­nomic Zone.

Two months ago, the gov­ern­ment launched a mon­i­tor­ing sys­tem which en­ables of­fi­cers to iden­tify ves­sels car­ry­ing out il­le­gal fish­ing and it is ex­pected that the po­lice pa­trols will en­hance the ef­forts to curb this crime

“The boats are of a high ca­pac­ity (one can carry 63 of­fi­cers), which was lack­ing with our marine po­lice.

‘‘We can now con­fi­dently say that we are now ca­pa­ble of polic­ing our wa­ters,” the po­lice boss added.

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