Kenya’s local fishing community sees less fish
Local weather conditions usually mean there is plenty of tuna. The fish brings them a good amount of money in the local markets.
Kenyan fisherman Chapoka Miongo said there were several reasons why he and others were finding less tuna. One is the presence of large foreign fishing vessels in the region. Another reason is the change in local weather conditions caused by climate change.
Kassim Abdalla Zingizi is a fisherman from the town of Vanga. Zingizi said most small fishing companies lack the skills, knowledge and financial backing to compete with larger foreign fishing vessels. Foreign boats come mostly from Europe and Asia. They use satellite technology to track schools of tuna throughout the Indian Ocean.
Another reason for the decline in tuna is climate change.
Dennis Oigara is from the Kenya Fisheries Service. Oigara said the Kenyan government is implementing an economic strategy that will address the effects of climate change on the livelihoods of coastal people. It will also increase the skills of artisanal fishermen and sustainable fishing methods.
Financial support for large fisheries has long been accused of destructive fishing practices. The World Trade Organization discussed the issue, but there was no resolution.
The Indian Ocean Tuna Commission is responsible for the region’s tuna laws. In 2018 and 2020, the amount of tuna caught exceeded catch limits. The tuna commission has been criticized for failing to apply measures to protect several types of tuna from overfishing.
However, at its meeting earlier this year, the commission adopted a resolution to study the effects of climate change on tuna stocks in the region. It was called one of the successes of the meeting.
It’s the second regional fisheries management organization to enforce a climate change resolution.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says climate differences have led to a reduction in marine life and damage to corals. He also said climate differences have led to an increased risk of conflict over dwindling resources. Kenyan fishing communities are already feeling these effects.
Mazera Mgala started fishing in 1975. The experienced fisherman said, “Back then I started fishing early in the morning and three to four hours later I was done because I had caught enough fish.
“Today,” Mgala added, “I’m staying longer at sea and still catching less.”
I am Gregory Stachel.
Wanjohi Kabukuru reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.
words in this story
opportunity – nm a chance to do something
sustainable – adj. involving methods that do not completely deplete or destroy natural resources
secretary – nm a person from a club or other organization responsible for keeping letters and records
coral – nm a hard material formed at the bottom of the sea by the skeletons of small creatures
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