Obey trawling ban, warns State


An Assistant minister for Fisheries has warned trawler owners that their licences will be revoked in two weeks if they continue flouting a fishing ban that is still in force.


Fishing in the Indian ocean.

Speaking during a World Fisheries Field Day at Ngomeni Village in Malindi, Mr Abu Chiaba said it was regrettable that trawling had sneaked back despite a ban effected late last year. His warning followed complains from fishermen that trawlers were back to within less than five nautical miles from the shore although a government ban was still in force.

Mr minister, we are surprised that trawlers are back in the shallow waters while a government ban is still in force; what is happening?, asked Ngomeni Beach Management Unit chairman, Omari Mshamu.

He said the trawlers were destroying fishing breeding sites and other gear used by small fishermen thus depleting fish stocks.

The same vessels have also been accused of scooping small fish and fish eggs as well as destroying young corals through their fishing methods of dragging nets on the sea bed.

I am directing the fisheries director to write to the trawler owners immediately to stop them from fishing within shallow waters. The ministry will withdraw all their trawler licences if they dont stop in two weeks time, Mr Chiaba said

He said since trawling was banned almost a year ago, fish stocks had remarkably increased in the sea and accused the big vessels of depleting them.

Deputy fisheries director, Mr Mathias Wafula who accompanied Mr Chiaba, said the government had licensed about 10 trawlers to fish in the deep waters five nautical miles or more from the seashore.



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