Traders to boycott lake as fishing ban is lifted
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
October 1, 2003
Fishing in Lake Naivasha might not resume because of disagreement between fishermen and the authorities on how the business is going to be conducted.
The fishermen have vowed not to resume work today when a four-month Government ban on fishing ends. Speaking to the Nation, more than 50 fishermen claimed the department of fisheries had refused to call a stakeholders meeting to discuss ways of "opening up the lake".
They claimed the department had failed to make public its findings regarding the growth of fish stock during the ban. The activity was suspended on June 1 on recommendation by the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.
Researchers from the institute earlier this year said the closure coincided with the optimum breeding period between June and September.
Led by Mr Francis Ngumo, the fishermen said the department's silence on the issue was suspicious.
They said they were aware that there had not been any substantial increase in fish stocks.
Mr Ngumo claimed that exploitation of the lake by cut flower farmers was to blame for the dwindling fish stocks.
"Even if we go back to the lake, it will not be long before the department calls for another fishing ban because the stock is low," said Mr Ngumo.
He continued: "All we are calling for is fair play in the management of the lake because there are sacred cows who the Government is protecting at the expense of the common mwananchi".
He suggested that the water used by flower firms be metered, the pumps located away from the lake shores and pollution controlled.
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