The government on Monday destroyed illegal fishing nets worth Sh.5 million at Port Victoria in Bunyala Sub County.
Addressing the press after the destruction exercise, Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) Inland Squadron Commander, Jotham Odera said the nets were impounded in Lake Victoria waters between the month of October and December 2020 by their Port Victoria team.
Odera said the government will not relent in its efforts to restrain indiscriminate fishing activities that are threatening fish production in Lake Victoria.
“This exercise is meant to discourage people from using the undersize nets, the monofilament nets which are really destructive to our fisheries resources,” he said.
He said the fishermen are fully aware of the type of nets they are supposed to use yet they keep disregarding and antagonizing the law.
“For instance a fisherman targeting tilapia fish is supposed to use a 5inch net. With such a net even if the fishermen encounter Ugandan security agencies in the lake they won’t be in trouble as that is the recommended type of net,” he said.
He advised fishermen to seek guidance in relation to the recommended type of fishing nets from the fisheries department in order to avoid a clash with the law.
He said the KCGS is in constant coordination with their Ugandan counterparts in regards to the boundary in the lake for the safety of both Kenyan and Ugandan fishermen.
“Although there are no beacons indicating the Kenya-Uganda Boundary in the lake we have been patrolling and guiding our fishermen and that has minimized cases of harassment of the Kenyan fishermen,” Odera noted.
Odera also cautioned fishermen against use of old and condemned lifesaver jackets that cannot save them in case of an accident saying his team will continue confiscating and destroying them for their safety.
He called on the Beach Management Units operating in Lake Victoria to continue collaborating with KCGS in order to safeguard the fish stock that has already been depleted by illegal fishing activities.
By Melechezedeck Ejakait