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Kenyan police arrest 16 Tanzanian citizens over 'illegal fishing'

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan police on Friday arrested 16 Tanzanian fishermen for engaging in illegal fishing in the Indian Ocean coastal town of Malindi.

Malindi police boss Matawa Muchangi said the Tanzania nationals were arrested by marine police unit for engaging in fishing activities without permits.

Muchangi said the 16 are held at Malindi police station waiting to be charged in Court on Monday.

"Our officers on patrol arrested the foreigners engaging in illegal fishing within Kenya’s territorial waters in the Indian Ocean.

"They violated the law and will be charged," said Muchangi

Recently Malindi fishermen protest increase number of fishermen from Pemba, Tanzania, in the area.

They accused the Tanzanians of taking over the industry through their large vessels, despite lacking work permits.

Police said they also recovered leaflets warning the Tanzanians to leave or face dire consequences within Mayungu area.

Kenya fishermen have in past accused foreign nations engaging illegal fishing using big vessels along the coastline.

Despite the government acquiring a Sh3.6 billion fishing patrol vessel to curb illegal exploitation of its resources in the Indian Ocean, foreign nations continue to carry out illegal fishing.

The country’s marine has the potential of producing between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of fish every year.

In 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed security agencies to patrol the Indian Ocean and stop illegal fishing.

Uhuru said despite the huge fish resources in the Indian Ocean, there was nothing to show for it due to illegal fishing.

The Kenyan leader directed the ministry of agriculture to ensure that fishermen were provided with proper fishing gear.



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