The fisheries sector in Kenya plays an important role in the national economy. The sub sector Contributed 0.5% to GDP in the year 2011. This figure may be higher if value addition at the various stages of the supply chain are considered and post harvest losses minimized.
Fisheries in Kenya is an important socio – economic activity and a major source of livelihood. The fisheries sector promotes other auxiliary industries such as net making, packaging material industries such as net making, boat building and repair, transport, sports and recreation. The sector supports about 80,000 people directly and 800,000 indirectly, assuming a dependency ratio of 1:10. In
2011, a total of 150,000 metric tons of fish worth over worth over Kshs 16 billion was produced in the country. In the same year, fish exports earned the country approximately Kshs. 7.5 billion. There are three major sources of fish in Kenya which include inland lake and reservoirs, marine water of the Indian Ocean and aquaculture.
1. Development of Marine Capture Fisheries
This aims to enhance sustainable utilization of marine water fisheries and sustainable utilization of marine fisheries resources while addressing the challenges and constraints facing the marine capture fisheries which include: lack of modern fishing technology by domestic fishermen to exploit fisheries resources in deep waters at industrial level; lack of fish port and fish port facilities to promote landing and servicing of foreign fishing vessels; underdeveloped marine fisheries science and management capacity; weak Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) system leading to increased illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; and post harvest wastage of fish of up to 16 percent.
2. Development of Inland Capture Fisheries
This aims at enhancing sustainable utilization of inland water fisheries while addressing the following constraints and challenges: lack of fish handling facilities at landing beaches that meet the set sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards; lack of management plans for specific fisheries; weak monitoring, surveillance and enforcement capacity; slow process of adopting and internalizing common management regimes for trans-boundary fisheries such as Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana; poor road infrastructure linking Lake Turkana fisheries and major markets; infestation by parasite of Lake Turkana Nile perch fish stock; use of non selective and destructive fishing methods and gears; and environmental degradation
3. Development of Aquaculture
The project intends to enhance aquaculture production. The project will address challenges and constraints facing the sector e.g. poor genetic quality of fish seed (fingerlings) due to poor brood selection, in-breeding and hybridization; inadequate supply of quality species-specific formulated feed; weak aquaculture extension and support services resulting in poor adoption of appropriate aquaculture technology; lack of policy and regulatory framework for the aquaculture industry; lack of a certification and quality assurance mechanism for fish seed and feed which has hampered the development and supply of quality inputs. Proposed Areas for
Private Sector Investment are;
• Value addition in fisheries products
• Certified fish seed breeding facilities to avail quality seed to fish farmers.
• Fish feed industry
• Fishing Gear/equipment industry
• Joint ventures in the exploitation of Kenya’s EEZ
• Investment in Tropical Aquaria parks for local and overseas tourism
• Fish leather industry
• Infrastructural development in the Fisheries sector
• Development of fish port, auction centre, marketing, cooling storage facility and sea port.
Specific areas identified for private sector investment are;
• Cooling-plants in major landing bays of Mbita, Sindo, Sori, Sio port, Usenge, Port Victoria and along the Kenyan coast.
• Fish processing plants for fresh water fish mainly for export in Kisumu, Homa Bay, lake Naivasha, Lake Jipe, lake Challa, Tana river dams and Turkana.
• Small vans and cold storage vans.
Marine fish: Kenya produces about 6,000 metric tonnes of marine fish annually. It however has the potential to produce up to 260,000 tonnes.
Aquaculture: There is a large unexploited potential for aquaculture to supplement the capture of marine resources.
Tuna: At the moment Kenya has only one tuna factory that produces cooked frozen tuna loins for further processing in EU countries. Investment in a fully-fledged tuna processing factory is therefore needed.