Italian tycoon dismisses allegations of illegal fishing – KBC
An Italian investor whose vessel was caught for allegedly engaged in illegal fishing in the Kipini area of ââTana River County has dismissed claims that he does not follow fishing laws.
Last week, two dolphins and a turtle were found dead along the shores of the Indian Ocean in what is believed to be the result of trawler fishing in the area.
Basta Alessandro, the owner of Itika Limited, whose vessel MV Roberto was caught fishing in the Kipini waters of the Indian Ocean, said his trawler was fishing legally in accordance with the license issued by the Fisheries Department .
Speaking to Malindi, Sandro said he owns two vessels that engage in trawling activities in the Indian Ocean, three of which are licensed to fish 3.2 miles, adding that another company also owns two vessels that fish in both shallow and high seas.
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He said the forces behind the arrest of his ship’s crew were people who were sulking for the attention and funding of international wildlife organizations.
âI have been fishing in Kenya for 20 years, working with the community and you can hear what they say if I am doing something legal or illegal, fishing legally and selling fish to locals for a very good price. market, âhe said. .
The Italian said there is no conflict with the fishermen and his catch is small fish which are sold in Malindi and Mombasa at a very cheap price starting at Sh. 130 per kilo.
He said his vessels are normally inspected and use the nets required by fishing regulations.
Sandro said last week that his ship was ambushed by a group of KWS security personnel with guns by officials who did not have masks, which was risky for crew members who had been on the vessel for 30 days.
âThis is just a plot to protest to get funding from organizations in America, Germany and other international donors, but the truth is we are very committed to conservation,â he said. he declares.
He said his captain was arrested and taken to the police station, but revealed that there was no evidence to prove he was engaged in illegal fishing.
“All the evidence is false, my lawyer made sure they went to the relevant services and everything turned out to be in order,” he said.
He said each vessel had 80 crew members, adding that his work fed more than 3,000 families with the fish caught by trawlers.
Since the incident happened, he said he no longer fished in Kipini but there were a lot of fish in the Malindi fishing area.
However, he revealed that he had suffered losses amounting to over 40 million shillings and vowed to take legal action against those who led to the arrest.
Community members interviewed said the trawlers had no problem and helped provide fish to local fishmongers at a very cheap price.
Abdul Hamza, one of Malindi’s fish merchants, said the trawlers fish from the recommended 3.2 miles and have no negative impact.
On the question of Kipini, he said that the locals are lazy, which is why they are not satisfied with the efforts of the Italian who fishes,
He dismissed claims that ships destroy turtles, saying turtles live in corals where they don’t fish.
âI urge the government to investigate this issue and find out the real problem instead of just following here,â he said.
He said there were five vessels among them four are fishing in shallow water and the other is going fishing on the high seas.
Ali Hamza, a resident of Malindi, also said there was no problem with the trawlers as most of the fish are sold locally to fishmongers.
Last week, residents of Kipini called on the government to ban trawlers because they harm marine life like sea turtles, dolphins and other endangered species like guitarfish.