New state agency to control fishing and related activities
The Kenya Fisheries Service will be established as provided by an Act of Parliament. It will develop standards for improving production
A new parastatal, the Kenya Fisheries Service, will be established under the Fisheries Management and Development Act 2016, Fisheries PS Japhet Ntiba said yesterday.
He said the law, which came into operation in September, has paved way for the establishment of the state body. Ntiba said the service will conserve, manage and develop Kenya’s fisheries resources. “It will develop standards for the management of all fisheries, aquaculture and fishing-related activities within the scope of the Act,” he said.
“Nobody in Kenya knows which fish should be caught. This has led to mismanagement of our fish resources and the continued fishing of the young Nile Perch. Ninety-five per cent of the Nile Perch caught in Lake Victoria are juvenile and we need to protect the young ones to support breeding.”
Speaking at the Panafric Hotel, Ntiba said the Service will enforce the law to protect young fish, adding the new Act has repealed the Fisheries Act Cap 378. The Act has also made stiffer penalties for crimes, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities.
“Many at time, you commit a very serious crime such as killing species and you are only fined Sh10,000. Now be aware, you could pay up to Sh50 million or get jailed. Last year, Indonesia sank 200 vessels due to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing activities and the same will now start happening in Kenya,” he said.
The Act has created other institu- tions, including the Kenya Fisheries Advisory Council, the Kenya Fisheries Levy Trust Fund, the Fish Marketing Authority and the Fisheries Research and Development Fund.
Kenya fish consumption per capita increased from two kilogrammes per person per year to five kg per person per year. Ntiba said Kenya produces slightly below 200,000 metric tonnes, with much going to the external market, hence the need to produce more for the local market.
“If Kenyans start eating fish as the rest of Africa, so that per capita consumption moves to 10 kg per person per year, we will need to produce more than 300,000 metric tonnes per year for domestic consumption alone. Out target is to produce more than 900,000 metric tonnes per year to meet our domestic demand and engage in [international] trade,” he said.
‘OUR TARGET IS TO PRODUCE MORE THAN 300,000 METRIC TONNES PER YEAR FOR DOMESTIC USE’