, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – The Department of Fisheries has acquired a 56.6 metre long scientific research vessel, MTAFITI, the first of its kind in the region.
The vessel will be operated by the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) to carry out marine studies in the Indian 0cean.
The vessel was donated to Kenya by the Belgian government.
Receiving the vessel at the Kenya Navy Mkunguni Jetty in Mombasa, Principal Secretary Department of Fisheries Micheni Ntiba said the vessel will be deployed to conduct fisheries research and management of Kenya’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by providing adequate and timely information on fish stocks and oceanographic data.
Ntiba said the EEZ has the potential to ensure food and nutrition sufficiency for the entire country when fully exploited.
He advised county governments in the region and Members of Parliament to use the constituency development fund to invest in trawlers to harvest fish from the EEZ pointing out that the sea is the key to food sufficiency.
The Department of Fisheries is also set to acquire a 52 metre long Indian Ocean Patrol Vessel at a cost of Sh4 billion that will be used to fight serious illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing being conducted in Kenya’s EEZ by foreign vessels.