The Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS) has said Tanzanian fishermen will not be allowed into Kenyan waters without fulfilling stringent immigration, fisheries, and medical conditions.
In a telephone interview on Tuesday, KCGS Director-General,Brig. Loonena Naisho said stringent restrictions have been imposed on all foreign fishermen to contain the spread of the virus.
According to Naisho, fishermen from Pemba traditionally fish in Kenyan waters on invitation or hire by Kenyan businessmen who recognise their seafaring and fishing skills and also hire their vessels.
''They are well sought after for their expertise in fishing. They are supposed to obtain special passes to work as fishermen here. This is a matter under consideration and we are working closely with the State Department of Immigration to ensure that shortly, only registered fisher folks from Pemba with proper documentation access our waters,'' the Director-General said.
Naisho spoke in the wake of a possible diplomatic tiff orchestrated by remarks attributed to Tanga Regional Commissioner Martin Shidela who ordered the immediate stoppage of Tanzanian bound trucks Kenya from entering the neighboring country through the Horohoro border post.
Kenya loses an estimated Sh10 billion in revenue as a result of illegal and unregulated fishing activities in its waters.