Counties

Poor water quality causing fish deaths, say farmers

Fishing trawl Mv.Greko 1 docking at Mbarak wharf in Mombasa after arriving to offload fish caught in Kenya's economic. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Fishing trawl Mv.Greko 1 docking at Mbarak wharf in Mombasa after arriving to offload fish caught in Kenya's economic. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Increasing incidence of fish deaths at the Coast has forced many farmers to abandon aquaculture.

According to Community Empowerment, a conservation of natural resources and resource mobilisation group based in Mtwapa, the sector is facing a lot of challenges due to fluctuations of water quality which is blamed on sulfide soils that are found in mangrove eco systems.

“As a result the groups that are farming fish are experiencing mortality due to fluctuations of water qualities especially high salt and acidic levels,” said Kwetu Training Centre for Sustainable Development coordinator, Brendan Muli.

Mr Muli who is in charge of environment and mariculture at the centre said fishermen at the Coast were also incurring losses due to lack of modern fishing techniques.

He urged county governments to support fishermen in sustaining their trade, govern their structures, use of modern fishing gears and supply of fingerlings. In March this year over 40,000 prawns died at a fish farm owned by Mtepeni group, added Mr Muli.

“We have since taken measures to ensure such incidents are not experienced again. Research is also important to establish why there are low fish productions. They are incurring losses due to poor documentation of fishing activities,” he said.

Addressing farmers at the Coast Development Project in Kilifi, Mr Muli said polyculture is the key in fish farming and production of different species.