Kenya has banned fishing activities off the Coast near the Somalia border over security concerns.
Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri says all fishermen are prohibited from carrying out their activities in Ras Kamboni and any other areas past Kiunga Town, all of which lie close to the Kenya-Somalia border.
In an exclusive interview with the Nation in Lamu on Monday, Mr Kanyiri reiterated that the ban on the fisher folk is due to security reasons.
The county security boss said areas close to the border have had incidents of trafficking in contraband goods, drugs and people hence the need for citizens to keep off.
He added that there was tight security surveillance and that anyone found loitering in the no-go zones would be arrested.
Mr Kanyiri, however, stated that the ban on night fishing in most parts of Lamu East has been lifted and that fishermen are free to carry on their activities day and night but not close to the border.
“There are some areas that our fishermen will probably want to go fishing but those are no-go areas. The area next to Somalia border, that’s Ras Kamboni and any other area past Kiunga Town. We shall not allow our fishermen to conduct activities there for security reasons for now but as we continue to review the situation, we’ll be happy to communicate to the fishermen as and when they can resume fishing in those places. But in the meantime, the ocean is quite vast and I believe there are good fish harvesting grounds in other areas within our Indian Ocean that our good fishermen can use,” said Mr Kanyiri.
He added: “We’ve areas where small vessels can still do the fishing. It’s unfortunate that even the areas that the fishermen want to go are more turbulent. Our major concern is also that there might be trafficking in contraband goods, drug trafficking or even human trafficking taking place in the prohibited areas and we are working towards ending such activities.”