Fishermen Urged to Target European Market After EPA Deal

Coast counties have been urged to position themselves to benefit from an Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) Kenya signed with the European Union by exporting fish to that market.

Josephine Achieng' sells fish at Kisumu"s Jubilee Market on November 26, 2014.Fishmongers are opting to get commodities from Uganda or as far as Lodwar, citing high prices and scarcity. Poor storage by Kisumu fishermen is also driving traders and consumers away. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI

Josephine Achieng’ sells fish at Kisumu”s Jubilee Market on November 26, 2014. Despite the huge potential, fish accounted for only Sh2 billion of the Sh106 billion worth of exports to Europe last year. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI

Despite the huge potential, fish accounted for only Sh2 billion of the Sh106 billion worth of exports to Europe last year, with cut flowers, coffee, tea and vegetables taking the bulk of the exports, the European Union Trade delegation to Kenya said in Mombasa Monday.

PALTRY EXPORTS

Mr Christophe De Vroey, a counsellor with the delegation, said the paltry exports were as a result of fish catch from Kenya’s exclusive economic zone landing in other countries.

“Most fishing in Kenya is artisanal and deep sea fishery resources are exploited by distant water fishing nations. Only a small quantity of catch is landed in Kenya, and there is need to encourage investors from EU to help harness the potential,” he told a fisheries stakeholders forum at the Travellers Beach Hotel.

The EPA has a chapter detailing the manner of cooperation in fisheries trade development, sustainable exploitation and management of fisheries resources, and how to support regional capacity building including vessel monitoring systems at sea.

Noting that the EPA signed in October will come into effect by the end of January 2015 with fish — whose duty in the EU is currently up to 20 per cent reverting to zero — Mr De Vroey said if all fish caught was to be processed locally, this would boost exports.

– Daily Nation