KENYA –  In a move to support the artisanal fishing industry and improve food security in coastal communities, the Kenyan government has approved a US$3.8 million grant.

According to the Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Mr Salim Mvurya, the support will be channelled through the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development (KEMFSED).

The project will cover five coastal counties that border the Indian Ocean, including Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, and Lamu, and aims to improve marine fisheries.

Mvurya said the funding will support fishing activities in the coastal counties, where fishermen in Lamu will receive US$442,043, Tana River US$224,529, Kilifi US$1.3 million, Mombasa US$1.05million, and Kwale US$799887 million.

“The project seeks to promote sustainable fisheries industries and aquaculture for national development by protecting fisheries’ livelihoods, providing crucial contributions to livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and the well-being of coastal communities,” Mvurya said.

He added that the national government has rolled out initiatives to transform the fisheries sector for enhanced livelihoods and job creation.

Consequently, the government is investing in projects to revamp the fisheries sub-sectors in a bid to increase access to complementary livelihood activities in coastal communities.

According to the CS, the government is revamping fish landing sites with modern facilities, including cold storage, ice plants, and markets, to revive coastal fisheries.

He noted that the cold storage facilities and fish markets in the coastal villages will enable fishermen to keep their catch fresh for a long time and control prices.

Meanwhile, in Ghana, a month-long fishing ban has been lifted freeing the artisanal and inshore fleets to set sail for fishing in the country’s marine waters.

Mr Moses Anim, the Deputy Fisheries Minister, appreciated the role of all stakeholders who cooperated in the implementation of the ban, which was a difficult directive but in the national interest.

“Though closing the sea for one month for artisanal fishers disrupted the economic activities in coastal communities and the source of livelihoods for the inhabitants, we must accept that these are sacrifices we have to make as resource users to sustain the sector for current and future generations,” he said.

Mr Anim warned fishers not to engage in Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing as that would defeat the higher fisher compliance that characterised the 2023 closed season.

A total of 187 fishing communities and 247 landing beaches in Ghana’s four coastal regions observed the closed season, with the overall objective of preserving the fishery resources.

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