• April 19, 2024
  • Last Update April 19, 2024 7:23 AM
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Lack of storage facilities hurt fishing business in Migori County

Lack of storage facilities hurt fishing business in Migori County

Migori,

Monday, March 11, 2024   

KNA by George Agimba

Lack of proper storage facilities and modern fishing techniques are some of the problems blocking fishermen in Migori County from penetrating international markets.

Others are the current big shortage in fish stock in Lake Victoria, increased arrests and harassment of Kenyan fishermen by authorities from Uganda and Tanzania over alleged trespass offences and, the intensive exploitation by middle men.   

Fishermen from Lake Victoria’s Muhuru , Aneko ,Sori  and Migingo beaches also claim that stringent consumer requirements by the European Union (EU) apparently as a result of  lack of modern fishing techniques for post-harvests have resulted in a remarkable decline in fish production .

“Requirements for high quality fish at both local and world markets and, access to storage facilities are locking out most fishermen from venturing into large scale fish business,” said a beach management unit (BMU) official, Mr Willis Okello.

Speaking by phone from Muhuru bay, Mr Okello called on both the National and Migori County governments to install high-tech cold rooms along the beaches to help them preserve their daily fish catch.

At the same time, the fisher folk now want the two levels of government to provide cleaning facilities to help improve sanitation on the beaches to meet the EU standards.

The European Union had in past years slapped a ban to Kenyan fish to access its markets on reports that the product from the country lagged far below the recommended standards.

But speaking from the area early this week, the group of fishermen said despite the government’s efforts to help the area meet the EU health standards, there are still gray areas that need to be corrected.

“The problem of irresponsible open defecation is still going on because of lack of good toilets leading to pollution of the lake,” said Mr Andrew Seka, another BMU official from Migingo Island.

Mr Seka also claimed the local fishermen were earning very little from their business as a result of middlemen who take advantage of the high perishability of their fish catch.

“The middlemen, mainly of the Somali Origin, normally wait until very late in the afternoon when they come with their refrigerated trucks to buy our fish at throw away prices,” he said.

The fishermen said fishing activities remains their undisputed economic backbone and should be supported at all costs to thrive by the two levels of governments.

Last year Migori County produced fish worth over a one billion shillings despite the numerous hurdles facing this sector.

Courtesy K.N.A

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