MY REMARKS DURING THE FLAGGING- OFF EVENT OF VESSELS FOR TRAINING OF DEEP SEA FISHERS AT THE LIWATONI FISHING COMPLEX, MOMBASA ON WEDNESDAY, 4TH AUGUST, 2021.
The ministry of agriculture under the leadership of CS Peter Munya has undertaken various activities to improve the farming conditions in the country.
One of the ventures include the blue economy that mainly has been under exploited and left behind.
One of the milestones in the blue economy is the initiative by the government to explore the potential of our marine fisheries as well as create job opportunities and ensure food and nutrition security.
H.E the President has outlined several interventions that his Government is implementing to expand opportunities for employment and wealth creation in the emerging Blue Economy sector.
The Government of Kenya appreciates the critical role of fisheries resources in enhancing livelihoods through food security and provision of the right nutrition, which is a key pillar under the Big Four Agenda.
In his commitment to sustainable exploitation of Kenya’s marine fisheries and improving livelihoods for Coastal fishers, the President gave a directive for the training of 1,000 fishermen in deep sea fishing from the coastal counties of Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu.
To actualize this Directive, the Ministry through the State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy has put measures to carry out this training.
The inaugural group of trainees has already completed this phase.
There exists a lot of potential in our marine waters which has now become a key area of focus by the Government.
It is out of this realization that the Government is now making deliberate efforts to explore these resources for socio-economic growth of the coastal communities and nation at large.
Recent stock assessment surveys conducted by the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) within the Kenya EEZ indicate healthy stocks of assorted fish species that actually exceed our current vessel capacity targeting these stocks.
With adequate capacity, we will be able to land 1,000 MT annually, which can go a long way in providing jobs in fishing, fish handling and processing facilities, support food security in the coast region and enhance fish export to foreign markets.
The state of the fishery stocks and their sustainability is therefore fundamental in aiding policy formulation to advice investment in the sector.
These evaluations are needed to determine the amount of labour needed to fully exploit the fisheries resources with the right skills and appropriate fishing technologies and gears.
This training is therefore the first step towards ensuring that there are adequate skills and experience in our youth to be used by the growing fishing industry to exploit the vast fisheries resources.
To further improve the livelihoods of the coastal communities, the Ministry also launched the Kenya Marine Fisheries Socio-Economic Development (KEMFSED) Project which is anticipated to create about 60,000 new jobs in the fishing sector over the next decade.
The Project has capacity building for the fishing community as one of its components and hence further complement today’s event. The Government envisages commercialization of Kenya’s enormous marine resources for the benefit of Kenyans by creating well-thought strategic national systems to ensure the landing of between 150,000-300,000 metric tonnes of marine fish annually.
This will generate investments, create jobs, increase tax revenues and sustainably improve local livelihoods.
The realization of this noble goal requires collaborative efforts by all our partners, including the county governments and private sector players in developing relevant fishing infrastructure and supporting small and medium-sized fishing companies to modernize their operations.
Kenya recently launched two shipping vessels to help in training of deep sea fishermen FV Seamer II Longliner and FV Miss Jane Longliner with twenty (20) trainees on board to officially commence this training.
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