Marine fishing in East Africa has carried off the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania in the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania accounts for more tonnage of fish caught compared to Kenya although marine fishing in Tanzania and Kenya are similar in characteristics.
Marine fishing is less developed in east Africa due to the following factors : –
- Warm waters due to tropical location and the warm Mozambique current limits plankton growth and a number of fish.
- Narrow continental shelf and deep offshore waters.
- Low technology and limited capital that limits marine fishing to the inshore waters.
- Stiff competition from highly developed and industrialized nations e.g. Japan, Korea and Norway with advanced technology.
- Limited market due to sparse population in many coastal towns (apart from the Tanzanian islands of Pemba, Mafia, Zanzibar)
- Low fish eating culture among the local communities
- Fishing in both the countries is done on a small scale (Kenya – 10%, Tanzania – 13%)
- It is mainly done for subsistence.
- Fishermen use small boats/dhows – few are motorized while majority use wind
- The fish species caught are similar since the fishing grounds are linked e.g sardines, tuna, mullet, bonito, kingfish, queen fish, barracuda (pelagic), cod, streaker, black skin, catfish (demersal) and lobsters, crabs and prawns (crustaceans).