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Kenya lifts ban on fishing near Somalia border, says security tight

The government has lifted the ban on fishing off the Kenyan Coast in Lamu near the border with Somalia following improved security.

Coast Regional Coordinator John Elung’ata said on Friday that security was heightened with deployment of Kenya Defence Forces soldiers and police.

Kenya banned fishing activities in the area earlier in June due to insecurity, with Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri saying fishers could not go to Ras Kamboni and areas past Kiunga Town, all of which are close to the border.

He cited human trafficking, the smuggling of contraband goods and trade in drugs.

BLUE ECONOMY

While announcing the lifting of the ban, Mr Elung’ata asked fishermen to venture into the deep waters and help spur growth of the blue economy.

“We want normalcy to return to Lamu, from Hindi up to the border. Our fishermen have been afraid,” he said while touring the county after security meetings.

“We want you to start fishing. The government will give you safety gear including vests, good nets and boats. You can now go the distance and get the best stock. Don’t just stick to the shallow waters. Don’t fish within the high watermark … go into the deep sea. We want you to supply fish to Mombasa and Nairobi.”

BOOST

Wavuvi Association of Kenya chairman Hamid Omar praised the government for the decision, which he said will boost the sector.

“With improved security, fishermen will increase production by going to the deep seas. The modern boats and safety gear will also boost the industry,” said Mr Omar, a member of the Fish Marketing Authority board.

He said Lamu is one of the areas with good harvesting grounds.

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