Massive fish kill leaves Kisumu fishermen staring at loses worth Sh100 million

Fishermen collect dead fish from fish cages in Lake Victoria

Fishermen collect dead fish from fish cages in Lake Victoria on October 20, 2022. Kisumu fishermen are now staring at losses worth Sh100 million over massive fish kill

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Fishermen in Dunga Beach, Kisumu County are counting losses worth Sh100 million following a massive death of fish.

The fishermen claim that close to 60 cages that were stocked with thousands of fish have been affected.

Michael Otieno, a fisherman, told Nation.Africa that they started experiencing fish death on Monday.

They had however assumed that the deaths were due to a bad wave that had caused kills.

"Today was the worst. We have lost fish in all the cages at the lake. Nothing survived, all the fish were floating on the lake," said Mr Otieno.

Most of the fish that were floating in the cages were white and swollen.

He said that last year when the wave of fish kills affected Ogal Beach, 12 cages were affected.

The fishermen had stocked 7000 fingerlings in each of the 60 cages in February. The majority were expecting to start harvesting in August.

Partson Okumu, another fisherman said that during the feeding hours, he noticed most of the fish were coming to the water surface gasping for oxygen.

"We have witnessed other varieties of wild smaller fish such as fulu, lake shrimps, and water bugs have died alongside our fish," said Mr Okumu.

Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute -Kisumu (KMFRI) Director Freshwater Systems Research Christopher Aura noted that fish kills might have resulted from low oxygen circulation, therefore, leading to choking of the fish.

"We have sent a team of researchers to investigate the real cause of death. However, most of the fishermen are rearing the fish in shallow waters where there's low circulation," said Dr Aura.

The fish kills are happening at a time when the residents are again grappling with the unbearable, nauseating stench that has enveloped beaches and spread to parts of the lakeside city.