President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive has seen the Department of Fisheries lifting a ban on fish imports following a biting shortage after against Chinese catch that had flooded the market.
The ban was lifted in January, barely three months after the restrictions took effect in November.
Mr Kenyatta, in ordering the ban, had said it was inappropriate to bring in the fish when local sources could well satisfy the demand.
Kenya imports approximately 1.8 million kilogramme of fish every month. It produces about 135,000 tonnes annual against an annual demand of 500,000 tonnes. Fish imports from China hit Sh1.7 billion last year as Kenya’s appetite for Chinese fish continued to grow with the country seeking to bridge a deficit.
Most factories that import fish cite unreliable supply from the local market, which affects their customers.
Farmers Choice, one of the local processors, said it currently imports frozen tilapia fillets, normally boneless and skinless, owing to the limited supply locally.