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Ministry pushes for ban on importation of monofilament nets

By Antony Gitonga | February 1st 2021

The Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Linah Chebii (R) examines illegal nets recovered in Lake Naivasha (PHOTO: Antony Gitonga)

The Ministry of Agriculture is calling for a total ban on the importation of monofilament nets terming them as the greatest threat to the fishing industry in Kenya.

The ministry noted that the nets which are imported from Asia were sweeping away mature fish and fingerlings adversely affecting fish production in the country.

This came as the department of fisheries in Naivasha burnt nets worth over Sh8m that had been recovered from illegal fishermen in the lake.

Last year, Nakuru government promised to introduce a bill in the county assembly that would bar the sale and use of the nets in the county.

According to the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry Linah Chebii Kilimo, the use of the monofilament nets in inland water bodies was on the rise.

“Lake Naivasha is one of the water bodies adversely affected by the use of these nets and this hurts fish production,” she said.

She admitted that the only solution is in banning their entry into the country adding that the ministry would liaise with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs) on the nets.

“The nets are very harmful to water bodies as they sweep everything from mature fish to fingerlings thus eroding gains made in restocking,” she said.

Speaking when she witnessed the burning of the illegal nets, Chebii added that the government was keen on fully implementing the Fisheries management act of 2016.

“The government is committed to fighting unregulated and illegal fishing in all our water bodies and we shall be using the Kenya Coast Guards to enforce this,” she said.

On her part, the CEC for Agriculture in Nakuru County Dr. Immaculate Maina admitted that undersize nets were a challenge to the fisheries sector.

Maina added that they were keen to ban the use and sale of the lethal nets as one way of saving the sector that earned the county Sh300m in the last financial year.

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