Kenyan government maintains cheap China fish is here to stay amid outcry by fishermen
Local fishermen have protested the imports saying it has skewed the market
Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri Wednesday said the move was necessitated by unmet demand locally.
"We are not sufficient...There is a gap in supply which the Chinese fish import is filling. Our fish production cannot meet the high demand. We cannot produce enough fish for the market. The issue is not whether they are flooding but their competitiveness...The market is wide open,” said Mr Kiunjuri.
Kenya has an annual deficit of 800,000 tonnes, which is filled through imports.
Local fishermen have protested the flooding of cheap fish saying it affects sales as they cannot compete with the local catch which are expensive.
Tilapia from the Asian country goes for Sh150-Sh300 a kilo while the Kenyan variety goes for Sh400.
Nile Perch fetches about Sh320 a kilo while tuna from China dominates most of the market at the Coast.
Kenya is yet to utilize its large exclusive fishing zone which has the potential to produce 300,000 tonnes of fish annually estimated at about Sh75 billion.
This has seen developed nations with advanced gears explore Kenya’s fishing potential. Illegal fishermen are also using the opportunity to exploit Kenya’s resources.
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