by Robert Manyara
NAKURU (Xinhua) -- Kenyan fishermen
alarmed by declining catch in the fresh water bodies have
invented novel methods of rearing different types of fish that
are considered a delicacy in many communities.
Odhiambo, a veteran fisherman in Lake Victoria that is located
in Western Kenya, and dozens of his peers has adopted floating
cages that can accommodate 2,000 young Tilapia fish.
The cages, similar to miniature boats, float in the deeper
sections of Lake Victoria and have provided a respite to
fishermen grappling with a dwindling catch in Africa’s largest
fresh water lake.
"There is too much overfishing at the lake that we fear there
will be nothing to capture in the future," Odhiambo told Xinhua
during a recent interview.
"It is no longer possible to solely depend on the lake for
fish because of the ongoing overfishing.
"We even have some fishermen who have decided to have
fishponds to supplement what they capture from the lake," he
UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes that catches
of Nile perch, a most sought-after and exported fish species,
has declined due to overfishing after the 2000 peak at 110,000
tonnes but since 2007 stabilized around an average of 45,000
tonnes per year.
John Kabiru, chairperson of Aquaculture Association of Kenya-Nakuru
County Chapter, said it was crucial for fishermen and farmers to
adopt modern ways of raising fish to wean off overreliance on
"These days there are improved, tech-savvy methods of raising
fish," said Kabiru.
"We now have modern fish ponds which are suitable for people
who want to raise fish on a micro scale. They also very
appropriate for adoption among urban farmers who are limited
with space," he added.
Kabiru noted that land is no longer a major determinant in
raising fish as the modern technologies have made it easier for
people to put up the fish species in different customized ponds
He said while fisheries and aquaculture sector is significant
to Kenya’s socio-economic development, and awareness on fish
raising technologies is critical to ensure communities maintain
their source of income against the collapse of traditional
Kabiru said climatic changes are a major threat to the
fishing communities and thus the need to encourage adoption of
alternative means of raising fish.
In February, the remaining waters at Lake Kenyatta, in the
coastal Lamu County where about 50,000 people including
fishermen and farmers depended on to sustain their economic
activities, dried up following a prolonged drought.
While water scarcity is increasingly a challenge in Kenya’s
fisheries and aquaculture, private sector has been chipping in
to provide a better solution.
Farm Africa, an international organization promoting
developments in remote parts of Africa, is currently
popularizing use of solar-powered pond pump.
According to Solomon Otieno, the organization’s marketing
officer, the device that utilizes solar power to pump water into
a fish pond, is suitable to farmers in arid and semi-arid areas.
"Solar pump enables farmers in dry areas to fill their ponds
with water from wells and be able to irrigate their farms with
water from the pond," he said.