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A Lot of Kenyans May Want to Ban Imported Fish From China, But That Just Can’t Happen For Now

Fish vendors selling buckets full of silver cyprinid (locally known as omena) near Koguna beach in Mbita, Homabay county, in Western Kenya. SIMON MAINA / AFP

The recent proposal in Kenya’s National Assembly to ban imported fish from China has sparked a lively discussion about how to simultaneously enhance the country’s food security while bolstering the livelihoods of Kenya’s embattled fishing communities.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said so long as Kenya has “insufficient local fish to satisfy the market,” there’s no other choice but to rely on imports, mostly from China. According to the Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute, local suppliers are presently incapable of providing even half of the current 500,000 tons of fish that Kenyans consume each year.

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