State destroys Sh6 million fishing nets

Published on 14/05/2009

By George Olwenya

The Government set ablaze illegal fishing nets worth more than Sh6 million in Bondo town.

Residents and fishermen watched in disbelief yesterday as more than 1,500 illegal fishing gear were destroyed under the supervision of officials from the Fisheries Ministry and armed police. Bondo District Fisheries officer Alfred Obayo said the nets were destructive because they capture juvenile fish and particularly the under-size Nile Perch and Tilapia.

“The huge number of illegal nets we are burning shows the amount of damage the fisheries resources around our waters have suffered,” said Mr Obayo.

He said it was disturbing that even some beach leaders who have undergone training on good fishing practices were using the illegal gear.

Among the fish landing beaches where the nets were impounded include Wagusu, Misori, Luanda Kotieno, Kamariga, Mageta Island, Usenge and Uhanya.

The illegal nets that have been banned from Lake Victoria include Mosquito sein, Beach seins, under size Gill, Monofilament and Drift (Tembea) plus other assorted illegal fishing gear.

According to the fisheries officials, fishermen in the Lake are only allowed to use Gill nets of five inch mesh size which is capable of capturing the recommended size of fish.

Obayo said they have tried to educate fishermen through barazas while others have been taken for trainings on good fishing practices but there has been very little change.

Scores of fishermen who had earlier doubted whether the government officials were serious that the nets would be burnt with the hope that some of their fishing gear could be spared watched from a distance as the nets went up in smoke.

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