15 Kenyan fishermen who were arrested in Tanzania on January 31, 2019, were finally set free on Monday.
The fishermen had been arrested by armed Tanzanian security officers over claims of illegal fishing in their waters.
They were released after successful negotiations between the officers and representatives from the Remba Island Fishing Community, where the fishermen hail.
During the negotiations, it was agreed that a fine of Ksh 150,000 is paid in exchange for the release of the fishermen.
Boat owners from the Island were mobilized to contribute the ransom money, with Ksh 30,000 being collected from each boat.
It is alleged that no receipt was issued after the fine was paid but the fishermen were released, their fishing gear and 5 boats returned immediately.
Confirming the release, Edward Oremo, Homa Bay County Beach Management Unit Network chairperson revealed that the fishermen had been locked up at a security camp in Sota Island, Tanzania.
He urged the government to ensure that Kenyan fishermen were well educated on laws governing the waters.
“We resolved the problems with Ugandan security personnel. Our fishermen now know the rules of that country. We appeal to the government to help us understand maritime laws in Tanzania,” Oremo noted.
He also requested that borders be clearly marked to avoid Kenyan fishermen getting into trouble with foreign authorities.
“Fishermen have difficulties knowing where their countries end. We need guidelines on this,” he added.