In anticipation of World Fisheries Day in Naivasha Sub-county, Beach Management Units (BMUs) around Lake Naivasha collaborated in a significant lake clean-up today. The concerted effort, involving the units, County Government, and various stakeholders, marked an essential step in preparation for a restocking initiative scheduled for tomorrow. The eight-hour pause in fishing activities across all landing beaches managed around the lake was a strategic move to mitigate the adverse impact of “ghost nets” on aquatic life, underlining a commitment to ongoing ecological initiatives.
Jeremiah Mutiso, Chairman of Karagita Public Beach, expressed gratitude for the clean-up, recognizing its potential to reduce fish mortality in the lake and subsequently enhance the income of local fishermen. He pointed out that the decline in fish catch was linked to the increased presence of ghost nets and the use of illegal fishing gear.
The clean-up was spearheaded by Raymond Mwangata, Director for Fisheries, who emphasized the persistent threat posed by “ghost nets” to various aquatic species. The initiative is not a one-off event but an annual commitment, aimed at ensuring the lake’s sustainability and promoting economic activities for the surrounding communities. Mwangata stressed the importance of sensitizing Boat Management Units on responsible lake utilization and sustainable management.
In adherence to National Environment Management Authority guidelines, Mwangata affirmed that proper disposal methods for ghost nets and waste from the lake would be followed. Victor Omondi, a Fisheries Officer from the Kenya Fisheries Service, outlined the ambitious goal of collecting over 14 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets during the clean-up. He emphasized the critical role of the exercise in preserving the lake’s fish population sustainably, particularly in light of the upcoming restocking initiative.
The pause in fishing activities, coupled with the comprehensive clean-up, showcases the proactive measures taken by Lake Naivasha’s stakeholders to address ecological concerns and promote responsible fishing practices. As World Fisheries Day approaches, the collaborative efforts underscore the collective commitment to maintaining the health of Lake Naivasha and securing the livelihoods of the communities dependent on its resources.