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Why coronavirus is silver lining for Kenyan fishermen

Some Kenyans are reaping big amid Covid-19 pandemic after their income improved following a decrease in imported goods from China over the last few weeks.

As the harsh economic times take a toll on the country, some Kenyans, majority of them being fishermen and fishmongers, are laughing all the way to the bank as their profits are on an upsurge.

According to reports, the fishermen are currently selling almost all their products at 90 percent, a huge difference from the 50 percent which they could manage prior to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which has turned the world upside down.

Currently, a kg of Nile Perch fish is going for more than Sh300 compared to the previous price of Sh250 marking a 40 percent increase in price.

Some fishermen who spoke to the media could not hide their joy over how their fortunes have turned drastically thanks to lockdown on Chinese products with a majority of Kenyan traders left with no choice but to turn to local goods.

“There has been a sharp decrease in fish imported from China even as many buyers turn to local fish fearing to contract coronavirus from imported fish. We are happy that our business is booming although this comes at a time when the country is battling to contain COVID-19,”Dunga Beach Chairman Bob Otieno said in an interview with local news outlets.

Kenya has been importing frozen fish worth billions of shillings from China despite incessant protests from Kenyan fish farmers and fishermen who have been lamenting that the imports were a threat to the local fish industry.

The latest turn of events has evoked mixed feelings among consumers some of them complaining that local fish was not pocket friendly compared to imported fish.

“Must they hike their prices instead of lowering especially during such times? It’s little wonder that most Kenyans will always go for imported fish. You can’t go far when you exploit others,” Mac Luis remarks.