In Summary
  • They have also protested against the use of nets for fishing by the “invaders".
  • The fishermen are strongly opposed to the ring net fishing method, insisting that it destroys corals.
  • They gave the Lamu County government four days to ensure that the issues are fully addressed.

Hundreds of fishermen Lamu have taken to to protest over what they say is an invasion of their territory by others from other regions and from neighbouring Tanzania.

They have also protested against the use of nets for fishing by the “invaders".

During the Tuesday morning protests, the fishermen are strongly opposed to the ring net fishing method, insisting that it destroys corals and catches young fish.

RING NET FISHING

The controversial ring net system of fishing, also described as Lampara netting or purse seine, is believed to have originated from the Tanzanian islands of Pemba and Zanzibar and was introduced to the Kenyan coast in the late 1980s and early 1990s, mainly in Vanga and Gazi.

Ring nets are a long continuous stretches of netting measuring about 300 metres in length and set depth of about 25 to 30 metres.

They are used to encircle a school of fish, usually in the deep sea waters outside the reef and they are normally operated by motorboats using crews of between 30 and 40 fishermen.

The protesting fishermen said ring net fishing system has in recent times become a thorny issue in the region and now want the method to be completely banned in Lamu.

PETITION

During the demonstrations, the fishermen walked for about two kilometres from the Lamu Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) jetty to the Ministry of Fisheries offices near Shella where they submitted their petition.

They demanded for an immediate ban on the ring net system of fishing as well as equipping the fisher folk across the Lamu archipelago with modern equipment.

Led by Lamu Fishermen and Dealers Organisation Chairman Abubakar Twalib, they gave the Lamu County government four days to ensure that the issues are fully addressed.

SUFFERING

“As Lamu fishermen, we don’t want ring net system of fishing to be used in our region because it completely destroys the habitat for the fish and their food. Ring net method of fishing has already destroyed fishing in Malindi, Kilifi and Mayungu. We’re already suffering here in Lamu due to the effects brought about by the Lamu Port dredging activities at Kililana and Manda Bay and we’ve not even been compensated yet.

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