World Fisheries Day celebrations in Siaya County, Kenya, took an innovative turn this year, focusing on the safety and sustainability of Lake Victoria, a key lifeline for the local fishing community. Governor James Orengo underlined the importance of safety on the lake, emphasizing the need for sustainable fishing to unlock the potential of an industry worth Sh4 billion.
Unlocking a Sh4 Billion Industry
The Siaya County government has announced a series of initiatives aimed at prioritizing the welfare of fishermen. This includes training them in safer fishing practices, advocating for value addition to increase income, and implementing measures to improve their livelihoods. The county, which primarily relies on Lake Victoria and Kanyaboli for its natural fisheries resources, contributes to over 95% of the annual fish production.
Challenges and Solutions
The County Executive for Agriculture, Food Security, Livestock, and Blue Economy emphasized the pressing need for safe and regulated fishing practices. Concurrently, the Chief Officer for Agriculture, Food Security, Livestock, and Blue Economy shed light on the challenges faced by the farming community, driven by factors such as climate change, rising production costs, and expanding population.
Sustainable Fishing and Future Plans
As a part of the World Fisheries Day celebrations, the Siaya County government also took a step towards supporting sustainable fishing by distributing juvenile fish into Lake Victoria. Furthermore, the Mining, Blue Economy, and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary announced Siaya as the official host for the National Celebrations of World Fisheries Day 2024 and disclosed a generous budgetary allocation of Sh1.5 billion towards the development of fish landing sites at Luanda Kotieno, Asembo Bay, and Wich Lum.