According to the latest data from the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, the country’s yearly fish demand has increased to 700,000 tonnes, compared to 120,000 tonnes produced (KEMFRI).
To overcome the current shortage, the research agency estimates that the country will need to produce more than 100 million fingerlings each year to meet demand in the aquaculture sector.
This happened as the administration defended the purchase of Chinese fish products, claiming that it helped meet the increasing demand.
According to KEMFRI chief executive James Njiru, aquaculture farming was the only way the government could fulfill the increased demand.
According to him, the catch in various lakes is declining as more farmers turn to aquaculture, which is more productive and profitable as 90% of the total yearly fish catch in the country comes from fish caught from the lakes and oceans, and there is a need to meet the 500,000 tonnes deficit.
To that aim, he said the government has set aside Sh12 billion to build a state-of-the-art hatchery in Shimoni, on the Coast, to produce high-quality fingerlings.