Demand For Fish Swim Bladder in Kenya Threatens Supply

The swim bladder is an internal gas-filled organ that contributes to the ability of many bony fish to control their buoyancy, and stay at their current water depth without wasting their energy on swimming. Just when you thought you may have eaten everything the ocean has to offer, along comes another delicacy known in certain circles as swim bladder, gas bladder, fish maw, or air bladder. The demand for this swim bladder, known as mondo in the local language, has left officials in Homa Bay County scratching their heads on how to deal with the lucrative trade that is threatening Kenya's food security. Homa Bay Agriculture and Fisheries Executive Aguko Juma is concerned that the increased demand for the delicacy in international markets, is encouraging overfishing in the lake. Fish maw has various uses, including the manufacture of surgical sutures used for sewing wounds after surgery. Traders in the business say it is also a delicacy in China.

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