Sh1.5b to help Coast fishermen exploit deep sea fishing

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024 04:08 | By
Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya. PHOTO/Print

The government has pumped more than Sh1.5 billion to support fisherfolk at the Coast.

Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya said move seeks to upgrade fishermen from paltry medium shore activities to lucrative deep sea fishing.

Resources, the CS said, have been channeled towards putting up fish landing sites which will ensure players in the blue economy sector have requisite infrastructure that allows them to be licensed and fetch a good price.

“We are doing landing infrastructure all the way from Lamu to Kwale. As a first step to help harness the investment from our fishermen, we are doing a landing infrastructure in Mokowe Lamu, Mtangarawandain Lamu and Kipini in Tana River. We have already done Ngomeni and Kichwa cha Kati, and Kilifi central all in Kilifi…here in Mombasa we are doing Kidongo, in Kwale we are doing Mwaepe, Gazi and Vanga,” Mvurya said.

“Those are fishing landing sites for medium level fisheries activities but we are also making critical provisions to support our stakeholders to go deep sea,” he added.

Addressing the fifth Multidisciplinary and Innovation conference at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), the CS noted that 150 boats are on standby to support the fishing community with five more boats for deep sea fishing expected next month.

Ordinarily, Mvurya told the conference that the life of a local fisherman is characterised by the tendency to catch a paltry two kilograms of fish from which they sell one and consume one.

The situation, he said, had for the longest time condemned the fisherfolk to live from hand to mouth, a situation he said is about to witness a turn-around with the ongoing government interventions.

“We are also looking at the entire governance. Right now the fishermen are organised into Beach Management Units (BMU)…however we are transforming those into cooperative societies so that they can train and lead them to other financial institutions,” the CS reckoned.

In the light of the above, Mvurya invited universities to partner with the government in providing innovative training to empower blue economy players.

“There are instances we encounter situations of missing boats which disappeared in the sea and cannot be located. This is where we need the universities’ knowledge of ICT. I am happy that there are students working on projects involving remote sensing. We can incorporate that in our boats and find it easy to connect those at sea and those in inland waters,” said Mvurya.

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