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Uganda frees 24 Kenyan fishermen, slaps them with heavy fines

By Standard Reporter | May 24th 2019

Uganda has finally freed 24 Kenyan fishermen who were arrested on Wednesday by Ugandan authorities who were patrolling the waters of Lake Victoria.

The fishermen, who were drawn from Suba North and Suba South in Homa Bay County, were detained by officers from Hama Island in Uganda. The Ugandan authorities also confiscated their fishing equipment such as nets and boats. They have been fines Sh240,000 by the Ugandan authorities.

They were reported to have packed ice cubes in their fishing boats to enable them explore the waters and maximize on their fishing activity. However, this is an act that Ugandan authorities deemed as overfishing.

Homa Bay County Beach Management Network chair Edward Oremo condemned the arrests.

County Commissioner Irungu Macharia said yesterday that he was in talks with a Ugandan District Commissioner. “We are inquiring from our colleagues from Uganda on what transpired so that we get a solution,” Mr Macharia said.

The arrests came after the two nations agreed to end harassment of fishermen in the lake at a meeting in Homa Bay town in October.

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