Analysis of fish catch data from 1985 to 1994 in the Kenyan inshore marine waters
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Fish landing data collected by the Kenyan Fisheries Department from the nearshore coastal marine waters from 1985 to 1994 were statistically analyzed to determine trends in the traditional fisher's catch. Over the ten year period a significant decline occurred for total catch and for catches of seven commercially important fish families: Lethrinidae, Siganidae, Lutjanidac, Scaridae, Carangidac, Scombridae and Mullidae. 1994 registered the lowest catch over ten years. The total catch for all the fish declined from a mean annual catch of 6150 metric tonnes in the 1980's to a mean of 5141 metric tonnes in the 1990's with the catch for 1986 being 2 times higher than that of 1994. Although Mornbasa district had the highest mean annual landing. its total landings like that of Lamu and Kwale districts decreased over the years. However, Kilifi district showed a steady increase in catches over the years. The changes in fish landings is thought to be caused by lack of appropriate fishing regulations. leading to overfishing of the lagoonal reefs beyond their maximum sustainable yields.