Is there Reason for Kenya to Import Fish from China?

By Vera Shawiza / July 6, 2016 | 10:32 am




Kenya is endowed with vast aquatic resources with successful aqua cultural potential. Highly varied climatic and geographic regions make up Kenya, a country whose territory covers a part of the Indian Ocean coastline, several large rivers, swamps and other water lands, a portion of the largest freshwater lake in Africa, all which support an abundance of native aquatic species. And all those water sources presently contribute much to the fish farming industry in Kenya.

Kenya has a long history of fishing with the Luo, Luhyia, and Abasuba ethnic groups having been active fishermen for more than five centuries. Until 20 years ago nearly all fish caught in Kenyan waters was consumed locally. Kenya started to export fish in the early 1980s, when fish processing factories were established around Lake Victoria.

Thus over the past 20 years, the fisheries sub-sector has gradually evolved from a domestic consumption oriented industry to an export oriented industry with value added processing being applied. Kenya is a coastal state with a marine coastline of 536 Kilometres and a well-developed marine fishing industry. In spite of this, Lake Victoria continues to dominate Kenya’s fishing output source. The lake currently accounts for over 90 percent of the tones of fish caught while marine fishing accounts for only 4 percent of the total output.

Fishing in Kenya is mostly carried out by artisanal fishermen operating small fishing boats in inland lakes and marine waters. A small proportion of fish in Kenya is obtained from fish farming (aquaculture). The inland lakes are Lake Victoria, Lake Turkana, Lake Baringo, Lake Naivasha and smaller Lakes including Chala and Jipe.

The largest species of fish processed and exported is the Nile Perch. Other commercially important species in the domestic market are the small sardine fish and tilapia. The Nile Perch is not a native species in Lake Victoria. The domestic Market commands about 70 percent of the total fish market. It is however not well defined or organized and involves buying fish at the beach by small scale traders and selling to various open-air markets and fish shops. The fish are sold either dried, fresh or processed for later consumption. The Artisanal Fish Processors (AFPs) prepare dried and smoked fish.

Read: Kisumu County is the Fishing County

Availability of sources of fish including Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world and the strong growth in the fishing sub-sectors and its exports are reasons enough to invest hugely into the fishing industry. There is availability of local, regional and international markets for Kenyan fish and fish products, but still with such facts at hand, the country has started importing unprocessed fish from China.

Why should we import fish when we already have more than enough? Who came up with the idea of importing it? Such are the questions that we should be asking ourselves because this act don’t seem to be adding up at all. And is the imported fish especially from China safe for consumption?

It is said that the import is for the purposes of satisfying the high domestic demand. Why can’t the money being used for importation be used to develop the fishing capacity in the available fish sources in the country that are in a very bad state, some leading to the death if the species.

Read: Agriculture Fisheries and Food Authority to Unveil New Guidelines

It is ironical because Kenya is blessed with a coastline in excess of 2,000 nautical miles in Indian Ocean, Lakes Victoria, Turkana, Baringo and Naivasha as well as several inland water bodies. According to the report, the imported tilapia is packaged, frozen and imported to Kenya. The imported fish is also sold in huge volumes at the Kisumu’s retail fish market. Fish processing companies in Kisumu have scaled down their operations due to lack of fish from Lake Victoria.

A lot more needs to be done so as to improve the status of the fishing industry in the country. We should not be wasting resources on matters that can be sorted out easily. By improving this sector, the economy of the country will also be improved.

 





About Vera Shawiza

Vera Shawiza is Soko Directory’s in-house journalist. Her zealous nature ensures that sufficient and relevant content is generated for the Soko Directory website and sourcing information from clients is easy as smooth sailing.Vera can be reached at: (020) 528 0222 or Email: info@sokodirectory.com

View other posts by Vera Shawiza


More Articles From This Author







Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (334)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (180)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (253)
  • February 2019 (216)
  • March 2019 (285)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (272)
  • June 2019 (251)
  • July 2019 (338)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (319)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (278)
  • April 2018 (225)
  • May 2018 (238)
  • June 2018 (178)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (249)
  • September 2018 (256)
  • October 2018 (287)
  • November 2018 (284)
  • December 2018 (185)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (190)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (165)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (190)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (248)
  • September 2016 (234)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (166)
  • April 2015 (108)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (120)
  • July 2015 (148)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (188)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (207)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950