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November 15, 2018

Uhuru bans Chinese fish, says its killing local market

There has been a public outcry over the unregulated importation of fish from China./FILE
There has been a public outcry over the unregulated importation of fish from China./FILE

President Uhuru Kenyatta has banned the importation of fish from China.

Uhuru said the Chinese fish was strangling the local market.

He spoke on Tuesday at the Strathmore University during the 2018 SMEs conference.

"I have been told about the imported fish from China. It is not possible that we import Chinese fish when our local traders are here," he said.

Uhuru said though the Finance Bill 2018 was signed to law, it does not mean that imports be replaced with what is available in the local market.

His sentiments come amidst public outcry over the unregulated importation of fish from China.

In June this year, fishermen at Lake Naivasha said the foreign fish had flooded markets and called upon the government to intervene.

Read: Naivasha fishermen decry cheap Chinese imports

Also See: Chinese fishermen banned from Lake Naivasha for 'finishing stock'

In 2016, former Kisumu governor Jack Ranguma told the national government to impose a 100 per cent ban on fish imports from China.

He said that there is no logical rationale for allowing the trade which has already affected the local fish market.

“It will increase unemployment, poverty and inequality in the economies of counties like Kisumu that have traditionally depended on fishing fa or livelihood,” he said.

Ranguma said more than 80,000 people are directly affected if the imports continue to flood the Kenyan market.

See: Ban fish imports from China, Ranguma asks national government

But the Kenya National Bureau of Standards said Kenyans will wait longer to get rid of Chinese fish from their plates in the wake of the continued decline in local catches.

KNBS states that the total value of fish landed, which has been down for three consecutive years dropped from Sh24.5 billion in 2016 to Sh23.0 billion in 2017.

Read: Fish from China here to stay as Kenya's catch dwindles

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