Artisanal fishermen from Roka Maweni in Kilifi County have decried a decline in fish stocks in the area.
According the the fishermen, the decline has been occasioned by climate change and destructive fishing methods.
Kiti Khamis, a fisherman who has been in the business for over 20 years said things started changing eight years ago.
Khamis said fishermen are now ditching the business for other ventures due to low fish stocks.
‘’We used to catch between 70 to 120 Kgs of fish which we sold at Ksh.200 per kilogram per day but now we end up catching around 5 to 10 kgs per expedition. This cannot sustain our families. We dumped quarrying to fish but now things are bad. Most of us have left the business because it’s no longer profitable’’ said Khamis.
Khamis said the effects of climate change had severely affected fishermen along the Coastal line, citing that sea species like Parot fish and Rabit fish that breed in large numbers had migrated to other favourable places.
“I can remember about six years back our Coastal line was favourable grounds for different species of fish, we used to catch buckets of fish every day, life was good, but nowadays due to the phenomenon of climate change most of the fish which used to breed at the seashore had migrated to other areas where environmental condition are favouring them, said Khamis.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Gambo Kanyoe who said they have been forced to hike the prices from Ksh 200 to Ksh.260 per kilogram due to the decline.
He narrated that the price is scaring away some customers, adding that some people are opting to imported fish which are selling at a cheaper price.
Kilifi County director of metrological services Ramadhan Munga said deforestation is the major contributor to climate change.
He said the effects had caused an upshot of temperatures which has led to low rainfall.