Kenya: Good News for Lamu Fishermen As Night Ban Is Lifted

A ban on night fishing in Lamu East imposed in 2011, has been lifted.

The ban affected fishing in Kiunga, Ishakani, Mkokoni, Kiwayu and Kizingitini.

The ban followed frequent Al-Shabaab attacks targeting tourists and fishermen as well as kidnappings.

Speaking to the Nation in Lamu Monday, Operation Linda Boni Director James ole Seriani said the ban had been lifted and that fishermen in the county could now fish at night.

Mr Seriani assured fishermen of their security, saying the government will intensify patrols at sea at night and during the day.

“The ban has been lifted with effect from today. Fishermen can now go fishing at night without any restrictions provided they follow the law.
“We have also intensified sea patrols by the Kenya Defence Forces, Navy, Kenya Wildlife Service and the police. However, we appeal for cooperation from fishermen and the public,” said Mr Seriani.

On Friday last week, the Lamu security department, led by Mr Seriani and County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, met fishermen at the Mwana Arafa Hotel to discuss the
rules to be followed once the ban was lifted.


According to Mr Seriani, Lamu fishermen will be required to have a special identity card which they will carry during fishing expeditions.He said the government had started printing the IDs for all the fishermen.

Currently, the fishermen are required to produce their national IDs to be allowed to fish.

However, they will not be required to carry their national IDs anymore once they acquire the special IDs.

Mr Seriani said the special IDs will enable the security office to keep tabs on the fishermen, their movements and exact locations when they are fishing in the ocean.

Fishermen will also be required to form beach management units where they will be required to report all their movements.The units will then submit a daily report to the security office on the movements of each fisherman for assessment.

“This will make it easy for the security office to be able to identify any suspicious activity and be able to separate the chaff from the grain,” he said.

Previously, police had discovered that Al-Shabaab recruiting agents posing as fishermen were operating on the Lamu waters with the intention of coercing and luring youth into joining the terror group.