Blue Economy CS Salim Mvurya has flagged off the consignment of anchovies (dagaa) from Kwale to China.
Anchovies are small, common forage fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which support heart health and lower the risk of cardiac disease. They are found in marine waters.
The fresh consignment was dispatched from Huawen Food (Kenya), a Chinese company that has established a factory for processing, drying and packaging anchovies bought from local fishermen and shipping them to China.
"Huawen Food Kenya Limited, a seafood exporting company, is a plus to the economy of Kwale in particular and Kenya at large. It has created employment for our people,” Mvurya said, adding that Kenya has a chance to increase fish export to the Chinese market.
The CS said the initial 351kg which will be shipped to China is part of the 70tn already processed at Kibuyuni in Shimoni, Kwale, by Huawen Foods Kenya Ltd.
He said the potential for anchovies caught by local fishers is sufficiently large to support export activities. The CS expressed hope that the export would in the long run support local fishermen’s activities.
Mvurya said the export of anchovies sourced from the coastline to the Chinese market is anchored on a bilateral agreement signed by the two countries in 2022 to facilitate the exchange of avocado and aquatic products.
He said access to the Chinese market will boost the growth of the fisheries sub-sector.
"This will inject fresh vitality into the local blue economy sector that encompasses fisheries, maritime biotechnology, aquaculture, tourism, and marine transport and logistics," CS Mvurya said.
Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani said the company is currently involved in anchovy fishing and export to China and has employed 150 people. It has also engaged fishermen from Vanga, Gasi, Kibuyuni, and Shimoni in supplying anchovy.
Achani thanked the company management for choosing to invest in the county and assured the administrators of continued support.
“This is a project that has created an opportunity for our fishermen to fully explore the blue economy sector," she said.
She went on: “As a county government we reaffirm our commitment to provide a conducive environment for investment." Achani said the export activities assure the local fishermen of a reliable market for their catch, spurring the growth of the local blue economy.