In Summary

•David Kilo, the chairman of Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association, said the move had locked out potential customers.

•He said sport fishing earned the county millions of shillings every year mainly from international visitors.

Illegal foot fishermen set nets in Lake Naivasha where fish production has dropped drastically due to illegal fishing using small-mesh nets.
ILLEGAL FISHING: Illegal foot fishermen set nets in Lake Naivasha where fish production has dropped drastically due to illegal fishing using small-mesh nets.
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

Tourism and hotel operators around Lake Naivasha now want sport fishing revived to attract more local and international visitors.

They questioned the rationale used by the county to ban the exercise that employed more boat operators and generated thousands of shillings through licenses.

The department of fisheries banned sport fishing four years ago alleging that some of those licensed were flouting the law leading to a drop in fish catch.

However, David Kilo, the chairman of Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association, said the move had locked out potential customers.

He said sport fishing earned the county millions of shillings every year mainly from international visitors.

“There were tens of visitors who came to Lake Naivasha every week for sport fishing but this changed when it was banned,” he said.

Kilo said the exercise did not have any effects on the lake’s fisheries as the captured fish could later be returned to the water.

A coxswain Adam Kimani said their business had gone down after the unpopular ban.

He said every week he could host over ten customers who were keen on sport fishing,terming the ban as a big blow.

“We are appealing to the department of fisheries to rethink this decision as it will generate revenue to the county and offer employment,” he said on Monday.

A senior fisheries officer who declined to be named said the issue of sport fishing was among issues a task force appointed by the county was looking into.

“This issue has been raised several times and we are waiting for recommendations from the task force before taking the next step,” the officer said.

Experts have also warned that the move to increase the number of fishing boats in the lake could kill the fisheries sector.

Francis Muthui, the chairman of Friends of Lake Naivasha said the fisheries sector was already under threat due to a lack of restocking.

He questioned the rationale to add another 80 boats to the lake saying this would constrain the current fish stock.

“The move to increase the fishing boats was meant to stem illegal fishing but unfortunately the biggest beneficiary is some politicians and not the intended persons,” he said.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris

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