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Q&A: Why Banning Chinese Fish Imports Is Not a Good Idea in Kenya

A frozen Tilapia fish imported from China being thawed out at a local market in Kenya. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Soon after reports emerged that Kenya’s Agriculture Committee in parliament proposed legislation that would restrict Chinese fish imports into the country, Safina Musa, a fisheries scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, called for a reconsideration of the plan in a column she wrote earlier this month in the Daily Nation newspaper where she argued that the country should instead find alternative ways of reducing dependency on fish imports rather than an outright ban.

“Should we stop all fish imports, aquaculture would have to triple its efforts to bridge the widening gap between fish demand and supply? This calls for a shift in mindset from peasant fish farming to commercial levels,” said Musa.

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