Naivasha clean-up to remove abandoned nets

Old nets and hyacinth a deadly combination, killing fish and hurting tour operators

In Summary

•Two days this month, dates to be announced. 

•Boat owners sat hyacinth wreaking havoc but all focus on Lake Victoria.

Lake Naivasha with Crescent Island in the distance
Lake Naivasha with Crescent Island in the distance
Image: FILE

Lake Naivasha will be cleaned up this month to remove abandoned nets that kill fish.

The clean-up will be carried out for two days this month. The dates will be announced. The last such clean-up was two years ago.

The  Department of Fisheries said the situation has been worsened by water hyacinth sweeping up the nets and the catch, leading to a sharp drop in fish caught.

Fisheries director Mathew Ngila said the abandoned notes were a threat to the lake's ecosystem.

“The biggest challenge facing the lake is the abandoned nets that are trapping fish which later die and rot, leading to a health crisis,” he said.

Ngila said they were working with the fishermen from the four landing beaches to arrange the clean-up.

More than 30 fishermen have been suspended for violating rules against undersized nets and fishing in breeding grounds.

“We are vetting fishermen, more than 30 have been kicked out and this will continue,” Ngila said.

He called the current situation healthy, despite the drop in water levels and the increased number of illegal fishermen.

Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association chairman David Kilo welcomed the planned cleanup, saying abandoned nets pose a threat to tour operators.

“The number of the abandoned nets is worrying and they are not only hurting fish production but also tour boat operators," he said.

Kilo complained that water hyacinth wreaks havoc in Lake Naivasha but all the focus has been on Lake Victoria.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)