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Blue economy: Lamu fishers embrace fish farming to boost production

Lamu fishers and residents have been advised to embrace fish farming as part of the efforts to enhance food security and household income in the county.

County Fisheries Officer, Simon Komu said enrolling in such projects in Lamu will diversify the diet for the local residents, as well as develop resilience to threats caused by climate change and other factors such as insecurity.

He said mariculture will also ensure there is a reduction in the already existing pressure on wild fishing which could threaten the species in the ocean.

He said the county was conducive for fish farming, especially the likes of crabs, octopuses, catfish, and marine tilapia, among others.

Mr Komu expressed confidence that fish farming will boost the general annual fish production and create employment opportunities for idle youth in the region.

Statistics from the county fisheries department show that Lamu produces at least 9,300 metric tons of fish annually.

The county fisheries officer commended various groups in Lamu, including the Mokowe Mainland Community-Based Organization, Pate Women, and Ndhununi group who have already introduced mariculture in their areas, including crab farming, octopus closures, and cage culture targeting male fish respectively.

“We’re promoting mariculture for locals here since that’s the only sure way that fish production in this place can be boosted. Our target is to have those places that were overfished in the ocean turned and utilized for fish farming. By doing so, we shall have better proceeds in terms of production and income generated from the fishing sector,” said Mr Komu.

He added, “Lamu relies heavily on wild fishing in the Indian Ocean, both as a source of livelihood and food. By intensifying fish farming, especially the high valued fish like crabs, lobsters and octopuses, we will provide alternative sources of income for our youths while enhancing food security.”

Lamu fish chair, Abubakar Twalib welcomed the initiative to introduce fish farming in Lamu in order to improve production and create employment among society members.

Mr Twalib, however, urged experts in the fisheries sector to introduce sensitization training for the local fishers in Lamu on the negative effects of overfishing and the county government to also consider controlling fishing, to give the fish room for reproduction and maturity.

“As they introduce fish farming, they should also consider sensitizing us on the negative implications of overfishing. Let them give us knowledge and the technology on how we can exploit the fishing sector through fish farming for our own good,” said Mr Twalib.

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