The Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) has rolled out standardized registration of boats operating in Lake Naivasha in latest efforts aimed at stemming a rising wave of criminal activities at the water body.
Speaking in Nakuru during a joint meeting between KMA top management and County officials led by Governor Lee Kinyanjui KMA Director General Mutegi Njue said the move will help tackle security challenges to restore confidence among fisherfolk and locals in the region.
“A harmonized system of boat identification will make it easier for both local and foreign tourists to recognize safe and genuine tour guides operating on the lake. It will also be easier for authorities to track down boats used by illegal fishermen and monitor those involved in legitimate activities,” he explained.
The Director General announced that the maritime authority will establish a surveillance base at Lake Naivasha to supplement the Kenya Coast Guard Service’s (KCGS) patrol base.
KMA’s Board of Directors Chairperson Ngombo Mwango noted that Lake Naivasha was also battling siltation, solid and liquid waste pollution and degradation of its catchment area.
Mwango said the multi-agency collaboration was also aimed at curbing pollution and ensuring that only registered boats venture into the lake for fishing and other recreational activities.
“We will roll out community sensitization meetings towards using proper fishing gear and the importance of abandoning the use of banned fishing gears and methods to reduce pressure on the Lake,” stated Mwango.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said his administration was willing to provide land to KMA to build the patrol base which he said will also be instrumental in training boat operators on life saving skills as the first responders to incidents.
“Illegal fishing has become rampant in the lake. The number of unlicensed fishermen along the shorelines, and, unfortunately, on breeding grounds, has increased over the years since the early 2000s and sometimes they net more fish than their licensed counterparts.
Adding that: “Illegal fishing gear also nets immature fish, their eggs and fingerlings. Unregulated fishing involves the use of outlawed trawling nets which can cause extinction of 76 per cent of fish species if not checked.”
Kinyanjui said his administration was willing to provide land to KMA to build the patrol base which he said will also be instrumental in training boat operators on life saving skills as the first responders to incidents.