Find Fisheries expertise in Kenya
- Overview of the industry
- Fishery bodies
The fisheries subsector contributed 5% to the GDP in 2006, while fisheries together with agriculture, forestry and hunting contributed 27% of Kenya’s GDP in 2007. The fisheries sector supports approximately 80,000 people in the primary sector, and it has been estimated that the secondary sector may be composed of approximately 800,000 people, though the actual value is not known. About 13% of those involved in the fishing industry are marine based, the vast majority of whom are artisanal, using small boats that use paddles or sails for propulsion. The Kenyan coastline is 640 km long and forms part of the western border of the Indian Ocean. It consists of 12 nautical miles of territorial waters and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of over 140,000 km2.
The largest species of fish processed and exported is the Nile Perch constituting 84% of total fish exports followed by tuna (13%). The domestic market commands about 70% of the total fish market. Kenya’s main markets for the Nile Perch are the European Union, Far East and Israel.
Small boats and rudimentary propulsion systems mean that the majority of fishing occurs inshore which is now over-exploited. The marine catch profile is mainly demersal species such as rabbit fish, scavengers, parrot fish and pouter, pelagic species mainly cavalla jacks, mullets and mackerels, crustaceans such as lobsters, prawns and crab and finally migratory species such as tuna and tuna like species. However, marine capture fisheries do not constitute an important fishery, only contributing 4% of total national fish production.
Aquaculture is underdeveloped contributing only 1% of total national fish production. Aquaculture is carried out at different levels ranging from small hand-dug ‘kitchen ponds’ at subsistence level to intensive raceways and circular tanks at commercial level. The Tilapine species constitutes about 90% of aquaculture production in Kenya. The vast majority of fish landings come from inland fisheries (95%), the bulk (92%) of which comes from the countries 6% share of Lake Victoria. The catch profile includes the Nile perch, freshwater sardine, Nile tilapia and cichlids, though the Nile perch is by far the most important catch.
Major companies include W.E Tilley (M) Ltd., East African Seafoods Ltd., AfroMeat Ltd., TransAfrica Fisheries Ltd., Sea Harvest Kenya Limited., and M.V Alpha Serengeti. The four most recently established fish processing companies are Fish Processors (2000) Ltd, Samaki (2000) Ltd, Banner Distributors Ltd and Crustaceans Processors.
The Fisheries Department is the national institution mandated to manage the fisheries sector and operates under the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development. Basic fisheries legislation is set out in six parts and 26 sections of the Fisheries Act 1989 (Act No. 5 of 1989; revised 1991).
|Fisheries organisations in Kenya|
|Alpha Fine Foods Ltd||
|Capital Fish (K) Ltd||
|Kenya Cold Storage (Foods) Ltd||
|Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute||
|Ministry of Fisheries Development||
|Perfect Food Suppliers Ltd||