Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o has assured fishermen engaged in cage fish farming who suffered massive losses following the deaths of fish in their cages that they will be assisted to restock.
Prof Nyong’o said the fish farmers incurred heavy losses and must be assisted to enable them to regain their footing.
The governor disclosed that the fish deaths have cost the farmers dearly and crippled their enterprise hence the need for a rescue plan to ensure they are back on their feet again.
He said the county government will set aside Ksh 3 million to provide the fish farmers with capital to reboot their ventures.
“We will first ensure that the farmers that have been plagued by this fish deaths disaster get fish fingerlings to assuage their losses and enable them restart their ventures,” assured the Governor
The governor regretted that the losses that have been facing the cage fish farmers have mostly been attributed to climate change.
He further pledged to ensure that the fish farmers get fish feed to enable them to tend to their fingerlings to the tune of Ksh 1 million so that they can recover from the disaster that has plagued them.
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Addressing the press in his office, the Governor said following the transient climate conditions, fish farmers in Kisumu have lost over Ksh 40 million and added that the situation now demands concrete steps be taken to deter the dumping of waste into the lake, especially by wayward companies.
Cage fish farming in Kenya
Cage fish farming is when a netted enclosure is suspended in an aquatic environment – like a sea or lake. This enclosure houses fish or other aquatic products. The practice dates back many centuries in China, though in most African countries it’s a new technology.
The practice is suitable for over-fished natural habitats such as Lake Victoria, whose fish stocks are struggling to keep up with demand. For instance, stocks and catches of Nile perch have reduced, from 340,000 tons in 1990 to about 251,000 in 2014. Though there’s no official figure, from our discussions with fisheries stakeholders we know that the tonnage on the Kenyan side now stands at about 99,000.
The lake’s fish stocks support the majority of the fishing demands from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda, which amount to millions of people depending on it. About 3 million people rely directly on fisheries for food, and about 30 million from the East African region rely on them for their livelihoods.
There’s also international demand for the Lake’s fish. Catches of leading commercial species – Nile perch and Nile tilapia – are now primarily caught for export, mostly going to Europe and Asia.
These challenges to natural fish stocks are compounded by over-fishing and illegal and unregulated fishing activities. Cage fish farming is thus the obvious and most sustainable alternative to having a depleted major fishery.
About the author
Journalist from the national newswire, the Kenya News Agency