Fishing ban lifted after L Naivasha clean-up

1,000 fish­er­men clashed with three Kenya Wildlife Ser­vice of­fi­cers, ac­cus­ing them of steal­ing their fish and nets

The Star (Kenya) - - News - GE­ORGE MURAGE @TheS­tarKenya

The govern­ment has lifted the three­day ban on fishing in Lake Naivasha after a ma­jor clean-up.

Fish­eries of­fi­cer Nicholas Ka­gundu yes­ter­day said, “The main aim of the ex­er­cise was to rid the lake of the large num­ber of nets that have hurt fishing.”

The na­tional govern­ment had out­lawed night fishing and sein­ing in Lake Naivasha. The Depart­ment of Fish­eries said some traders were fishing along the lake shores.

Ka­gundu warned that any fish­er­man in­volved in the il­le­gal trade would have his li­cence can­celled. He said no fishing should be done along the shore­lines or in ar­eas where the wa­ter is one me­tre deep.

It is il­le­gal to fish in iden­ti­fied breed­ing zones. Ka­gundu said the lake this week will be re­stocked with 100,000 fin­ger­lings.

He said fish­er­men will con­trib­ute 5,000 fin­ger­lings, and the rest will be sup­plied by stake­hold­ers and the county.

Mean­while, 100 fish­er­men in Lake Naivasha clashed with three KWS rangers on Satur­day, ac­cus­ing them of steal­ing their fish and nets.

The fish­er­men seized the rangers’ boat with the stolen fish.

The of­fi­cers shot in the air to dis­perse the fish­er­men. The rangers ac­cused the fish­er­men of do­ing busi­ness il­le­gally.

Trouble started when the rangers con­fis­cated 30 nets and all the har­vested fish. Lake Naivasha Boat Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man David Kilo said the of­fi­cers do not have the man­date to in­spect nets and boats.

“This is the work of Fish­eries of­fi­cers,” he said.

Kilo said the trio have con­fis­cated the fish­er­men’s nets on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions and later sold the fish in Naivasha town.

“They have been ven­tur­ing into the lake every night and ei­ther steal­ing nets or con­fis­cat­ing equip­ment,” he said.

Kilo urged KWS to rein in the of­fi­cers, adding that fish­er­men will not re­lease the seized boat un­til they are ar­rested.

/ GE­ORGE MURAGE

Fish­er­men at Karagita Beach near Lake Naivasha pre­pare their nets yes­ter­day

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