KENYA – The government of Kenya has unveiled new measures to govern and revamp the fishing sector, to promote sustainable fisheries for national development.

As part of ongoing sustained efforts to reposition the Blue Economy as a key driver of the nation’s economy, President Kenyatta has announced that all fishing vessels operating in Kenyan waters will be required to land their catch at Kenyan Ports.

Fishing vessels found to be in contravention of this requirement will have their licenses revoked, reports KBC.

To this end, ongoing re-development of the ksh.318 million Liwatoni Fish Landing Site into a modern Fishing Port is scheduled to be complete by March 2021.

“We expect this fishing complex to turn around the declining fortunes of the country’s fishing sector.”

Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives Cabinet Secretary – Peter Munya.

The modern marine complex located in Mombasa county will have a capacity to handle 250 metric tons of fish.

Plans are underway to upscale the capacity to 500 metric tons, this was revealed by Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives CS Peter Munya.

“We expect this fishing complex to turn around the declining fortunes of the country’s fishing sector,” he said.

To add value to the sector, the President has further directed the National Treasury to release funds for the construction of an ultra-modern Tuna fish factory at the Liwatoni Fishing Port.

According to a report by the Kenyan News Agency, the Ministry of Agriculture is also undertaking training of 2,000 Kenyan fishermen who will be absorbed by vessels operating in Kenyan waters.

With the latest development, the President has encouraged investors interested in the country’s expanding Blue Economy to take advantage of reforms in the sector to invest in Kenya.

Beginning of the year, Kenya signed a Sh10 billion (US$98.5m) concessional loan with the World Bank to exploit its deep-sea resources.

Five coastal counties i.e. Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu were listed as beneficiaries of the fund secured by the national government through the State Department of Fisheries and the Blue Economy programme.

The funding is meant to support the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development (Kemfsed) project.

Agencies implementing the project are the State Department of Fisheries, Blue Economy and Kenya Fisheries Service. Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) will also participate in the ambitious multi-agency project.

Kenya faces a fish deficit of about 500, 000 metric tonnes per year which has led to the importation of fish from China to bridge the gap, hurting local industry players.

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