State to lift Lamu night fishing ban from May


Fishing boats anchored at the Lamu seafront. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The national government is set to lift the night fishing ban imposed in Lamu East six years ago.

Lamu County commissioner Joseph Kanyiri revealed Wednesday that authorities were currently in the final stages of removing the restriction owing to restoration of security in the region.

Mr Kanyiri called for patience among the fishermen as the State concluded efforts to have the ban lifted.

“The security team has already met and discussed with fishermen and leaders of various beach management units (BMUs) in Kizingitini and Kiunga this week...We are planning to lift the ban tentatively on May 1, 2017. Our security officers and I will even accompany our fishermen and go for the night fishing that day,” said Mr Kanyiri.

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The prohibition was imposed in the area in 2011 following a spate of Al-Shabaab terror attacks after tourists and fishermen were kidnapped and taken hostage in Kiunga village and its environs along the border of Lamu and Somalia.

The ban devastated the industry in an area where at least 90 per cent of locals depend on fishing for survival.

Consequently, the number of fishermen in Lamu East reduced almost by half in the aftermath of the embargo.

Lamu Governor Issa Timamy thanked the government for its efforts in ensuring Lamu is safe, but called on the authorities to speed up lifting of the ban as a whole as it had greatly contributed to rising poverty among locals.

“The idea to have the night fishing ban lifted has come at the right time. We are looking forward to have the ban lifted so that our fishermen can conduct their activities at sea at night,” said Mr Timamy.