- County commissioner Moses Lilan said the incident happened when Ugandan security officers were patrolling Lake Victoria.
- Arrest cases have been attributed to ignorance and lack of knowledge about fishing regulations in Uganda and Tanzania.
Top security officials in Homa Bay county have intervened and enabled the release of 51 Kenyan fishermen arrested by Ugandan authorities.
Ten boats have also been released while seven are still under the custody of Ugandan authorities. The fishermen were released on Monday afternoon.
The fishermen from Remba Island in Suba North constituency were arrested by Ugandan security personnel on Saturday for allegedly operating without a valid licence.
The fishing boats were confiscated over alleged boundary trespass.
County commissioner Moses Lilan said the incident happened when Ugandan security officers were patrolling Lake Victoria.
The fishermen were later remanded at police cells in Kabale trading centre and Lolwe Island in Uganda.
“We followed the required protocol and regulations before having the fishermen released. The coordination with our Ugandan counterparts ensured we succeeded,” Lilan said.
Speaking to journalists in his office on Monday, Lilan said boats operating in the Lake should get approvals including those with valid permits.
He said that the Kenyan fisherman did not have the requisite documents at the time Ugandan officials arrested them.
This is not the first time Kenyan fishermen are arrested by officers from neighbouring countries.
Arrest cases have been attributed to ignorance and lack of knowledge about fishing regulations in Uganda and Tanzania.
The administrator asked Kenyan fishermen to avoid violating the laws during fishing expeditions.
“Let all Kenyan fishermen comply with guidelines governing fishing operations in the lake,” he said.
Lilan said they are going to conduct civic education among fisher folks to familiarise themselves with fishing laws in East Africa.
Meanwhile, Homa Bay Beach Management Unit chairman Edward Oremo wants the Ugandan officers to join them during annual conversations.
The conversations are done by fishermen representatives and heads of different beaches (BMUs). The meetings also bring together political leaders whose areas border the Lake.
“This will provide a good platform to discuss issues affecting fishermen in the lake, because since we began it cases of arrest have reduced,” Oremo said.