A total of 18 fishermen were arrested and illegal fishing gears worth over Sh250,000 confiscated in Lake Victoria following a crackdown conducted by the Ralayo Beach Management Unit in Rarieda Sub- County.
According to the Chairman of Ralayo Beach Management Unit (BMU), Simon Onyango, the officials found the fishermen from the nearby Kaloka and Kobudho beaches in Kisumu County casting the illegal fishing gears using about six boats.
He told KNA that they rounded up the fishermen and managed to arrest them after informing Rarieda Fisheries Officer and the officers of the Kenya Coast Guard Services whom they later handed over to.
Mr Onyango, however, regretted that after arresting the fishermen, they were later released by the Rarieda Fisheries Officer, who cited Covid-19 regulations, but confiscated the illegal fishing gears.
The BMU Chairman has lauded the government agencies for the swift action that they took, noting that the illegal fishing gears have affected the region for a long period of time.
On his part, Ralayo BMU Secretary, Isaiah Apondi, called on the government to find a way of completely eradicating the use of illegal fishing gears in the area to end the perennial wrangles between fishermen in the border of Kisumu and Siaya counties.
Sentiments which have been echoed by the Vice Chairman of Ralayo BMU, Peter Okeyo, who lamented that it was not right for the suspects to be released, adding that they ought to have been held and prosecuted to in court.
By Brian Ondeng’