Kenya’s fishermen are increasingly struggling to make a living. JEROEN VAN LOON. Featured Image
As the frozen fish defrosts under the hot Kenyan sun, fishmonger Mechak Juma prefers not to tell his customers that it has come all the way from China.
We are at the largest fish market in the city of Kisumu, on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake.
A scene of hustle and bustle, business is booming for the traders, but very little of that money now goes to the local fishermen.
As fish stocks in Lake Victoria have plunged over the past two decades, and prices have risen sharply as a result, cheap farmed Chinese imports are increasingly filling the gap.
“People don’t want to buy Chinese fish because they don’t trust the [farmed] production process, but we don’t have much of a choice,” says Mechak, standing next to a big wicker basket of whole Chinese tilapia fish.