Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives CS Peter Munya says the national government is taking aggressive steps to revamp the fishing sector.
Munya said his ministry is taking deliberate steps to protect and improve the local fisheries sector so as to ultimately benefit the national economy.
The CS said the national government is determined to promote sustainable fisheries for national development.
Speaking Monday while touring the Sh 318 million Liwatoni Fishing Complex in Mombasa in the company of senior ministry officials, Munya said 30 percent of the harvested catch will be sold to the locals at a wholesale price while 70% of the harvest will be used for export.
He said the modern marine complex will start operations soon and that already six fishing vessels have started docking with fish stocks.
Munya said the complex has the capacity to handle 250 metric tons of fish, but plans are underway to upscale the capacity to 500 metric tons.
“We expect this fishing complex to turn around the declining fortunes of the country’s fishing sector,” he said.
The CS said the complex will be training 2,000 youth as seafarers to work in fishing fleets as the government turns its focus on the exploitation and conservation of the blue economy for growth.
The blue economy sector encompasses fisheries, maritime biotechnology, aquaculture, tourism and maritime transport and logistics.
Munya said as the government turns its focus in harnessing the blue economy more and more foreign owned deep fishing fleets are sailing into the country’s territorial waters looking for tones of fish stocks.
“We therefore need the local expertise to work in these vessels and boost the fisheries sector,” he said.
He noted the maritime sector has the potential to employ hundreds of youth as seafarers but majority of them lack the requisite skills and know-how to enable them grab the opportunities in the vast blue economy sector.
The government with support from the Spanish government constructed three fish quality laboratories in Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu to enhance food and nutrition security through assurance of safety and quality of fish, fishery products (capture/aquaculture) and fish feed.
The laboratories also aim at sustaining access of Kenyan fish and fisheries products to the global and domestic market in compliance with food safety and quality requirements.
Source: Kenya News Agency