19 April 2017

Kenya: Ban On Night Fishing in Lamu to Be Lifted in May

The ban on night fishing in Kiunga, Lamu County, is set to be lifted on May 1.

Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said talks to lift the ban had succeeded.

Addressing journalists in Lamu on Wednesday, Mr Kanyiri said the decision follows improved security in the region.

He urged fishermen to be patient as talks on the issue are in the final stages.

"The security team has already met and discussed with fishermen and leaders of various beach management units in Kizingitini and Kiunga this week. We are progressing well with our talks to have the night fishing ban lifted," he said.

The ban was imposed in 2011 following a spate of Al-Shabaab attacks in which tourists and fishermen were often held hostage.


The worst hit was Kiunga village and its environs, including Mkokoni, Kiwayu and Ishakani, on the border of Lamu and Somalia.

The ban dealt a big blow to fishing in the county.

A majority of Lamu East residents depend on fishing.

In a recent interview, Mr Kanyiri said the national government had also embarked on expanding the 250km Hindi-Bodhei-Kiunga road to open up the region for the fishing trade.

Lamu Governor Issa Timamy thanked the national government for improving security in the county.

He called on Nairobi to speed up the lifting of the night-fishing ban in Kiunga and Lamu East.

Lamu island is a popular tourist destination, with ancient architecture that is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

UK national Judith Tebbutt was kidnapped by gunmen in September 2011 from the remote resort of Kiwayu, northeast of Lamu.

The gang also shot dead her 58-year-old husband, David Tebbutt.

Mrs Tebbutt was released six months later after a ransom was paid to pirates holding her captive in Somalia.


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