Busia County government in partnership with the Finland will set up 70 fish farming cages across five beaches on Lake Victoria to help improve on the dwindling stocks.
County director of Fisheries Timothy Odende said the move is aimed at reducing pressure on the lake, which has experienced over-fishing due to use of illegal equipment among other reasons.
Mr Odende said Bukoma beach in Budalang’i Sub County will be the first to receive 18 cages which have been stocked with 2,000 fingerlings each, adding that one fish cage is expected to produce at least 1,800 fish.
He said cage farming will boost farmers’ incomes, improve their livelihoods and reduce overfishing on the lake.
“The project is expected to bridge fish shortage that has seen vendors and processing firms import fish from Uganda,” he said, adding that they will have two days in a week where fishermen will not interfere with the lake to give it a breather.
The director noted that fish farmers from other parts of the county, which don’t border the lake can start the cage farming on the lake but the management of the cage will be left to Beach Management Units (BMU).
LOW FISH PRICES
“The county will outsource a firm to offer technical management services with BMU to provide security,” he said.
He said introduction of fish cage rearing will end arbitrary arrests of Kenyan fishermen who go to fish on Ugandan side of the lake.
Meanwhile, Busia fishermen have decried low fish prices in Kenya, forcing them to establish their market in neighbouring Uganda.
Led by their vice-chairman Alfred Agufya, they said Ugandan market attracts Sh70 more per kilo than Kenya, considering transportation costs.
“Kenyan market is killing us due to poor prices. We incur a lot of costs when transporting fish to Nairobi. Its better we sell our commodity to Uganda,” he said.