Fishermen in beaches within Karachuonyo, Homa Bay County have called for speedy investigations into mysterious deaths of young tilapia in Lake Victoria.
Fishermen operating around Kendu Bay pier said they have sighted numerous dead and unconscious tilapia floating on the water.
Their attention was drawn by a number of birds which were hovering around the lake shore scavenging on the fish.
Local Beach Management Unit (BMU) Chairman Ibrahim Kasera said some youths who wanted to collect the dead fish either for consumption or sale were restrained.
Kasera said they denied the youths access to collect the fish because they did not know what caused the deaths.“We’re perturbed by the death of tilapia fish in the lake. Many birds are feeding on them,” Kasera said.
He said they started witnessing sorry scenario last week adding the worst affected beaches are Kendu Bay and Kagwa.
“Let the relevant authorities investigate the cause of deaths swiftly. Some fish showed signs of suffocation before they died,” Kasera said.
“The fish are jumping out from the water showing that they are looking for oxygen,” he noted.
The fishermen urged the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) to speed up investigation so that they can remedy the situation.
Kasera said this will help in rescuing the lives of other fish in the lake.
“Let KMFRI intervene by conducting a study on what kills the fish so that a solution can be found. It’s important to save lives of fish in Lake Victoria,” he stressed.
The problem occurs at a time when water in the area has turned dark due to what is suspected to be pollution by algae.
The BMU officer said tests should also be carried out to determine whether the dead fish is fit for human consumption.
“The local community which relies on the lake water for domestic use and for livestock are scared. Let the relevant agencies also test suitability of the water for human and livestock use,” Kasera continued.
Homa Bay County Director of Fisheries George Okoth said he was aware about the deaths of fish and officers are on the ground investigating the matter.
By Davis Langat