Abstract

The economic potential of Kenya marine resources is critical for the socioeconomic development. The current study reports fisheries output from marine systems in Kenya as a priority for Blue Economy investment in order to rival the current production from inland systems as a trigger for sustainable development. The assessment of fish landings and economic value was based on Catch Assessment Surveys, cruises and secondary literature. Kenya’s inland capture fisheries contributes about 83%, aquaculture 12%, and marine artisanal fisheries 5%. Lake Victoria that contributes up to 90% of inland capture fish production has shown decline in catches in the recent past and the trend indicates that the fishery may not be sustainable. The Kenya Exclusive Economic Zone has a coast line of about 647 km and an area of 142,000 km2 that constitutes about 42% of the country’s surface area and has several commercially important species that are barely exploited; yet it produces a paltry 26,000 mt annually that is estimated at an export value of about USD 50 million. However, recent estimates have found that Kenya Exclusive Economic Zone could contain up to 2 million mt of fish that is valued at about USD 130 million. Furthermore, additional worth along the value chain and with substantial trickle-down effect that could have a positive impact on the Blue Growth in Kenya and other developing nations with oceanic potential – triggering the possibility for sustainable exploitation.

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