Collecte Localization Satellites (CLS), a France-based company, has discontinued ship surveillance services, with the Kenyan government citing a payment arrears of 16 million Shr p class = “align – justify “> The lack of monitoring capacity has exposed Kenya to a loss of at least 20 million tons of seafood worth more than 10 billion shunt this year alone.
CLS, a subsidiary of French space agency, provides data collection and maritime surveillance services to Kenya at the Liwatoni Vessel Monitoring Center in Mombasa.
The termination of the service has made Kenya vulnerable to foreign trawlers since the beginning of this year.
The technology helped to monitor Kenya’s waters in the exclusive economic zone and to keep foreign trawlers out.
Patr ouillenschiff on the ground
The situation got even more complicated after that The only patrol ship, the Mv Doria, for which the operation requires a reported Sh1 million per day, was stranded after the ministry allegedly did not provide any money for the operation of the ship for fishing, cattle breeding and agriculture.
“The ship surveillance center in Liwatoni Mombasa is currently not working. The satellite machine we bought to monitor fishing activities is also not working at the moment and in these circumstances we cannot monitor and know what is happening on the high seas. While the government may have had good intentions to provide Kenyans with good environments and facilities to explore the blue economy, the management of these facilities has remained largely ineffective … ”reads a petition the Mombasa Senator said Mohammed. Faki filed in the Senate last Friday.
Mr. Faki says Peter Munya, Cabinet Secretary for Fisheries, Livestock and Agriculture, has assured industry stakeholders that the Government debt of 16 million and start monitoring deep waters against international invasions in August, the status quo remains.
In an earlier interview with the Nation , CS Munya said the government has sufficient funds to pay CLS to restore surveillance services to Kenya as there are fishing vessels seeking Kenyan resources.
“16 million Shillings is little money, we will settle the debts. These ships that are here are licensed to fish, but of course there could be poachers, foreign criminals who do that. We cannot rule out this possibility, ”said Mr. Munya.
CLS works in the areas of sustainable fisheries management, environmental monitoring, maritime surveillance, fleet management as well as energy and mining. It processes environmental data and positions from 80,000 beacons per month, ocean and inland water observations. It also monitors land and sea activities via satellite.
Kenya monitors its waters with a vessel monitoring system ( VMS) and Mv Doria, with support from other countries. But since the system fails and the funds to operate Mv Doria are lacking, the country relies solely on other countries for monitoring.
The Sh3.5 billion MV Doria is the only ship available to the Kenya Coast Guard Services (KCGS) to monitor the country’s territory along the Indian Ocean. It was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Mombasa in 2018 and was only used twice due to its high operating costs.
“The Ocean Patrol Vessel Doria does not go to sea, it is moored at the Mkunguni Naval. The 54 meter long offshore vessel, which operates over a range of more than 1,500 nautical miles off the east coast of Africa, requires more than 1 million Sh (per day) for 3.5 tons of fuel and amenities from about 12 crew members, which makes it expensive the government, ”said a KCGS official.
The ship was first used during the inauguration of the port of Lamu on May 20, 2021.
She then returned to the Mkunguni naval base, where she is at anchor.
Mv Doria is equipped with a Servogear Ecoflow Propulsor and reaches one Speed of 35.9 knots. It also has a deck on the back that can accommodate a 5 ton helicopter.
Meanwhile, the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) has revoked a catch certificate from six Chinese-owned fishing vessels after their Kenyan crew raised concerns about abuse at work on the vessels.
John Omingo, Head of Commercial Shipping at KMA, said KMA had deregistered the ships following complaints from the Kenyan crew Kenyan Waters expressed concern about torture and ill-treatment; including the compulsion to participate in illegal business in the sea.