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Government boosts fishing industry with purchase of new vessel

27 January 2014, 18:05 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The government will seek ways to increase investment in the fishing industry at the Coast to increase returns from the underperforming industry.

According to estimates from a marine fisheries taskforce four years ago, Kenya's Coastal fisheries potential is close to 300,000 tonnes harvested annually which is an estimated KES 20 billion in revenue.

Currently though, it stands at close to 50,000 tonnes yearly caused mainly by lack of investment in proper fishing machinery and according to president Uhuru Kenyatta, the figures are cause for concern.

" We as a Government are looking for ways to overcome these and other challenges and we will explore the feasibility of increasing production from Kenya's waters on the Indian Ocean.

" Our lack of an offshore research vessel for oceanographic study and stock assessment, has been a major obstacle primarily, our monitoring, control and surveillance of these fisheries would be improved by an offshore patrol vessel, he said.

" To meet these challenges, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and fisheries prioritised offshore research and marine surveillance and control. My government has availed funds for an offshore patrol vessel, which is already under construction and will soon be at sea, the president added.

The president was speaking at the official commissioning of the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institutes’ RV Mtafiti Vessel at Kenya Ports Authority on Monday.

- News24

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