The government has set aside Sh12 billion to boost the Blue Economy industry in the country.
From the total amount, Agriculture and Fisheries Secretary, Peter Munya said at least Sh5 billion will be spent on upgrading fisheries facilities and reclaim landing sites.
Mr Munya said landing sites that were grabbed by private developers will be among those which will be reclaimed.
Those which are in a bad state, the CS said will be upgraded by improving their infrastructure.
“The government is in the process of reclaiming all landing sites that had been grabbed from the public and made private,” said Mr Munya in Kilifi County after inspecting Malindi fisheries where the county is setting up a boat making yard while the national government is building a mega cold storage facility.
“We are currently collecting data of all the grabbed landing sites and those that need to be upgraded so as to ensure they are set up to the standards.”
Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered that all landing sites which have been grabbed be repossessed after revealing that a majority of the landing sites are in the wrong hands of private developers.
Some of those who are believed to illegally own the landing sites at the Coast are politically-connected individuals, churches, hotels and other government-owned agencies.
Mr Munya said although the government has already repossessed some landing sites, there are still others like Mayungu in Malindi, which is still under the hands of tycoons.
In Mombasa, for instance, by March., five landing sites — Mkupe, Ngari, Tudor, Mtongwe and Likoni — had been surveyed and beaconed.
Early this year, it emerged that more than 600 private jetties and landing sites are not covered by the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.
The ISPS code is concerned with security measures on maritime vessels and port facilities. According to a survey by the Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS), there are 693 unregistered jetties that are currently uncontrolled by the maritime security agents.
Following the revelation, the government ordered all the private jetties and landing sites in the country to be reviewed and registered afresh.
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said many of the private jetties were being used for illegal trade including transportation of narcotics.
The KCGS has also echoed Mr Matiang’i’s comments, noting that the unregistered landing sites and jetties are being used in maritime crimes including smuggling of counterfeit goods, wildlife trophies and narcotics. Many of the landing sites used for the illegal trade are those in Lamu, Kilifi and Mombasa counties.
Due to the crimes committed in the ocean, including illegal fishing, the government has been losing billions of shillings every year.
During his Kilifi tour, Mr Munya said the Indian Ocean provides over 41 percent of Kenya’s exclusive economic zone and has a capacity of generating huge revenue to the government if well tapped.
“The government is keen on the development of infrastructure and empowering the fishermen to enable them to do modern fishing as opposed to the current type of fishing,” he added.