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Blueprint for Kenya's Fishing Industry

by Ellen Hardy
3 September 2008, at 1:00am

KENYA - A new blueprint for Kenya's fishermen aims to improve the industry's infrastructure, marketing and research and establish legal and institutional frameworks for the sector.

The policy document hopes to increase the country's earnings from fish exports from Sh8 billion to Sh10 billion.

The policy document, to be launched later this month, hopes to turn the activity, which has been the source of income for Kenya's 2 million fishermen into a reliable foreign exchange earner, according to Business Daily.

Promoters of the policy say it should increase fisheries contribution to the Gross Domestic Product from 1.1 per cent to seven per cent and boost foreign exchange reserves.

The document is proposing the formation of Kenya Fisheries Development Authority (KFDA) with the mandate to create an enabling environment for a vibrant fishing industry that is based on sustainable resource exploitation, and poverty alleviation.

Fisheries minister Paul Otuoma told Business Daily that lack of policy is to blame for the industry’s poor performance.

Other provisions in the new policy include the promotion of sustainable and efficient aquaculture, which contributes only one per cent of the industry’s total earnings.

“Fish production from captured fish is on the decline, especially from Lake Victoria and marine inshore waters. The sub-sector, if well managed, can contribute to food security, reduce poverty, create employment,” the draft reads in part.

Mr Otuoma said the new policy promotes investment in small, medium and large-scale commercial aquaculture through institutional reforms that make affordable credit available.

Ellen Hardy