Committee to Summon DCI, Kenyan Coast Guard, for illegal fishing

The Senate Standing Committee on Labor and Social Affairs will summon the Kenya Criminal Police and Coast Guard (KCGS) for suspicious fishing activities in the country’s territorial waters.

Committee chairman Johnson Sakaja said the committee would need input from the DCI and KCGS before finalizing its investigation into allegations of mistreatment of Kenyan seafarers who work for Chinese fishing vessels.

“After hearing complaints from Kenyan seafarers aboard the Chinese fishing vessels. It seems that there is more to it than meets the eye. We will hire DCI and the Coast Guard to investigate some of the allegations further, ”added Sakaja after a hearing session at the Mombasa District Assembly on Friday.

He said they expect DCI Director George Kinoti and KCGS Director General Brigadier General Vincent Loonena to appear before his committee and address some pertinent questions.

Committee members noted that foreign seagoing vessels registered in the country should be thoroughly inspected and monitored to ensure they are not engaged in unscrupulous activities such as the transport of contraband and narcotics.

Sakaja said his committee was stunned by some revelations by Kenyan seafarers that a Chinese fishing vessel had received unknown cargo on the high seas from other foreign vessels.

The seafarers informed the committee that the respective ship was docked on the high seas without having been involved in fishing activities, but was still secretly loading cargo from other ships.

Kenyan sea fears by Mombasa Senator Mohamed Faki moves the Senate to investigate sexual harassment by Chinese seafarers, racism, poor wages and overwork. The Kenyans work aboard 11 Chinese-owned Kenyan flagged fishing vessels.

Sakaja said unemployment among Kenyans should not be a reason for seafarers to be exploited, adding that his committee will ensure that citizens are not exposed to such deplorable labor practices.

Musa Sila told the committee how they are being mistreated by the owners of the foreign fishing vessels, poor working conditions and disenfranchisement of their rights according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

However, Sakaja said his committee, with the help of other government agencies, would conduct an independent investigation before drafting an evidence-based report.

“This body cannot be convinced by parties with self-interest. We are dealing with sensitive issues. It has the power and privilege to mandate the National Intelligence Services and other security agencies to investigate these allegations, ”he added.

The Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) director of merchant ships, John Omingo, who appeared before the committee, said one of the Chinese ships had its license revoked this week.

He said Kenyan fisheries services recommended KMA to reflag and revoke the vessel’s fishing license after failing to comply with the country’s fishing laws and regulations.

Sakaja said his committee will not accept the exploitation of Kenyan workers in the maritime industry, where the government has allocated massive funds to capitalize on the enormous opportunities within the blue economy.


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