By Joseph Masha
The Government has banned fishing using ring nets in the Indian Ocean.
The ban comes after local fishermen clashed with their Tanzanian counterparts over the use of ring nets.
The locals claimed the ring nets are illegal while the Tanzanians claimed they were recognised by Kenya Government.
According to a letter from the Director of Livestock and Fisheries Development, the ban, which took effect on November 4, gives room for studies to establish effects of the method to the marine life.
Kilifi DC Katee Mwanza gave the order to fishermen from Tanzania who have been camping at Takaungu and Mnarani for fishing, using the disputed method.
The DC said those who defy the order would be arrested.
Mwanza who led the district security team to meet the fishermen at the Kilifi Old Ferry on Wednesday urged them to maintain peace and order.
The meeting was held after locals threatened to arm themselves and attack their colleagues whom they accused of being in the country illegally.
The letter dated November 4, and signed by head of monitoring, control and surveillance in Coast Province noted there lacked effective monitoring to control use of ring nets.
She urged all fisheries officers, with the support of the Provincial Administration, to reinforce the ban.
‘The Department of Fisheries is concerned about use of ring nets that had exceeded its permissible quota for the year 2009," the letter said.
The director further said Fisheries Ministry was preparing a management plan for the ring net fishing to be ready for adoption by April next year.
In the recent past, local fishermen have complained of foul play by the Tanzanians.
The Kenyans complain Tanzanian authorities often harass them, some times even arresting and locking them up in cells across the border.
Quoted from : THE STANDARD online..