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Abandoned nets choking, killing Lake Naivasha

In the last clean-up exercise carried out in 2020, over ten tonnes of dead nets were recovered. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

Lake Naivasha is choking from tonnes of abandoned nets, a move that has adversely affected fishing, tour operations and the ecosystem of the water body.

Stakeholders are now calling for a major clean-up exercise targeting the old nets in a bid to address fish production that is currently under threat.

In the last clean-up exercise carried out in 2020, over ten tonnes of dead nets were recovered.

Francis Muthui, the chairman of Friends of Lake Naivasha, said the majority of the nets in the lake had been left behind by illegal fishermen.

He noted that this had led to the deaths of tens of fish around the lake, leading to a drop in fish catch and size.

“The abandoned nets have turned out to be the new fish-killers in the lake and it’s important that we conduct a major clean-up exercise around the lake,” he said. Mr Muthui added that water hyacinth was also contributing to the issue of the dead nets by sweeping them away from one beach to the other.

“Fishermen are counting losses due to the number of nets that are swept away by the invasive weed,” he said.

David Kilo, chairman of Lake Naivasha Boat Operators, noted that the number of abandoned nets was on the rise. He said that this had adversely affected navigation for boat operators, who were ferrying visitors.

Speaking earlier, Governor Lee Kinyanjui ruled out reintroducing a fishing ban in Lake Naivasha despite a sharp drop in fish catch in the last couple of months.

 “We have already introduced enforcement measures in the lake and we shall embark on restocking in the coming days as one way of supporting the fishermen,” he said.