Fishermen in Lamu County are staring at unprecedented losses due to restrictions on fish exports to Asia and closure of hotels at the coast.
Lamu County women representative Rueda Obo is calling on the government to consider the fishermen in cash relief as Coronavirus pandemic continues to dampen their daily income.
The Lamu archipelago comprising Amu Island, Kiunga and Faza, supplies a large cache of fish in the coast region with the bulk meant for export due to the quality of the catch in the county’s territorial waters.
However, the main economic activity for many in Lamu County is being threatened by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as revenues dwindle.
The deep sea fishermen have resorted to selling their catch of mostly tuna, prawns, crabs and lobsters for what they say is a pittance in the local market.
Before coronavirus outbreak the fishermen say they were exporting the catch for as high as 4,500 shillings per kilogramme, but are now forced to sell for as low as 400 shillings per kilogramme in the local market.
Demand for fish locally has dwindled significantly as hotels close due to lack of visitors while international buyers reducing their orders.