Kenya has 640 kilometers of breathtaking coastline along the South Western Indian Ocean, affording the country a vast array of marine resources.Around a quarter of the US $2-3 billion global tuna catch is caught in this area.
Kenya has 640 kilometers of breathtaking coastline along the South Western Indian Ocean, affording the country a vast array of marine resources.
Around a quarter of the US $2-3 billion global tuna catch is caught in this area.
The catch within Kenya’s Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) alone is estimated to be 60,000 metric tonnes annually. Kenya has a long history of both coastal and inland fishing. The Kenyan fisheries sector is an export-oriented industry with value added processing that employs over 500,000 Kenyans and contributes around 0.5% to the GDP.
However currently the abundant marine resource in Kenyan waters, which unlike the tuna stock in other part of the world is considered stable, are fished by vessels from Distant-Water Fishing Nations and landed and processed elsewhere.
This is set to change as legislation takes effect which will provide both incentives and a legal mandate for the off-shore catch to be landed in Kenya.
The latest Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union allows for an automatic derogation of 5,000MT of tuna loins for duty free/quota free export to the EU
And the Fisheries Management Bill contains a provision requiring Foreign Vessels fishing in the Kenyan EEZ to land part of their catch in Kenya.
It is anticipated that this could lead to an increase in revenue contribution from the fisheries sector from the current US $ 5 million up to US $ 120 million.
A catalytic investment is needed to allow for off-loading of ocean going fishing vessels, including a fish sorting plant and a 15,000 metric tonnes cold-storage facility.
This would create transformative investment opportunities in the fisheries value chain including fish processing and canning, fertilisers and animal feeds.