Abstract: The amount of frozen tilapia import from China has increased over the past five years to the current 20,000 tons per year. The imports have assisted in bridging the fish production deficit in the country. This study was conducted to determine the socio-economic effects of imported tilapia on thelocal fish market and value chain in Kisumu County. Primary data was collected using questionnaires, direct interviews and observations from 120 randomly selected fishermen and fish farmers, 100 fish traders and 96 households. Results revealed that 57% of the fish traders sold imported fish, 27% sold fish from capture fisheries while 16% sold fish from aquaculture facilities. Imported tilapia was sold at Ksh. 200 per kg while local tilapia fish were sold at Ksh. 320 per kilo for aquaculture and Ksh. 300 for captured fish, respectively. Due to the cheap cost of imported fish, up to 62% of the households consumed imported tilapia regularly. About 46% of the respondents have gained direct employment and improved socio-economic status due to the imported fish, of which 90% of them are women and young girls who are directly engaged in fish value addition and marketing. However, 51% of the respondents reported job losses and degraded socio-economic status due to declining aquaculture and fishing activities, attributed to imported fish. Fish market in Kisumu County is dominated by imported tilapia which is cheaper than locally produced fish. The fish importation has negatively affected local aquaculture and artisanal wild fish capture in the nearby beaches. National and County governments should provide favorable policy guidelines in the aquaculture sector to cushion local fish farmers from the effects of imported fish.
Erick O. Ogello, Nicholas O. Outa, Kizito O. Ouma and Domitila N. Kyule, 2021. Socio-Economic Implications of Imported Frozen Tilapia on the Local Fish Production and Value Chain Linkages: Case of Kisumu County, Kenya. Journal of Fisheries International, 16: 9-14.