Fish catch in L Naivasha rises to 50,000 tons af­ter cleanup

Of­fi­cers pa­trol the lake 24 hours a day to pre­vent il­le­gal fish­ing. Boat Own­ers’ Association chair­man David Kilo raised concerns about in­creased night fish­ing

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Rift Valley - GE­ORGE MURAGE @TheS­tarKenya

The week-long Lake Naivasha cleanup of il­le­gal nets and boats has im­proved the catch and the next step is re­stock­ing.

ßThe fish­eries depart­ment yes­ter­day said pro­duc­tion has risen from 35,000 tonnes to 50,000 per month.

Fish­eries and beach of­fi­cials seized 10 boats fish­ing il­le­gally early this month.

Dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, the of­fi­cers also re­cov­ered hun­dreds of il­le­gal nets, most of them un­der­sized and placed in the breed­ing zones.

Naivasha sub­county of­fi­cer Nicholas Ka­gundu said fish­er­men us­ing the il­le­gal nets caused the de­cline in fish catch.

Ka­gundu iden­ti­fied poach­ing and night fish­ing as the main prob­lems fac­ing the fish­eries sec­tor.

He said the depart­ment is work­ing with Beach Man­age­ment Units to end il­le­gal fish­ing.

“The county govern­ment has ac­quired four pa­trol boats to keep off the il­le­gal fish­er­men,” Ka­gundu said.

The seized nets will be burnt next month.

“We will be mark­ing World Fish­eries Day in Naivasha next month and we will burn all the il­le­gal fish­ing equip­ment seized as one way of pro­tect­ing the fish­eries sec­tor,” Ka­gundu said.

Lake Naivasha Boat Own­ers’ Association chair­man David Kilo said pa­trols will be car­ried out 24 hours a day, “un­til there is san­ity in the sec­tor”.

He ex­pressed con­cern about the rise in night fish­ing.

Kilo said Beach Man­age­ment Unit of­fi­cials are ca­pa­ble. “We are work­ing with the fish­eries depart­ment in deal­ing with cases of il­le­gal fish­ing near the shore,” he said.

Kilo said the planned re­stock­ing of the lake is on course.

Fish­er­men have raised Sh500,000 for the re­stock­ing, he said.

“Af­ter the cleanup, the next stage is to re­stock the lake with tilapia fin­ger­lings so we can in­crease pro­duc­tion,” Kiloe said.

/GE­ORGE MURAGE

Fish­er­men at the Karagita land­ing beach in Lake Naivasha pre­pare their nets af­ter the three-day fish­ing ban was lifted on Septem­ber 29

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