Fish traders in artisanal fisheries on the Kenyan coast

A. Allan Degen (Ben‐Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel)
Jan Hoorweg (African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands)
Barasa C.C. Wangila (Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega, Kenya)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Publication date: 19 October 2010

Abstract

Purpose

Marine fisheries are one of the few economic activities present everywhere along the Kenyan coastline. The local population is involved mainly in artisanal fishing which uses small non‐motorized fishing crafts that stay close to shore. Some of the catch is destined for local consumption but most is for sale. The purpose of this paper is to question whether fish traders in artisanal fisheries along the Kenyan coast earn enough money from only fish trading to support a household.

Design/methodology/approach

Fish traders were surveyed at two landing sites at each of five coastal tracts. Structured questionnaires, informal interviews and participatory observations were used in collecting data.

Findings

Average income for the fish traders from only fish trading was Ksh 1,268 per week; only 20.3 percent of the households was at or above the poverty line. However, there was a large difference between male and female traders in earning. Men earned Ksh 1,693 per week and women Ksh 795 per week. The poverty line for households was reached by 30.8 percent of the male traders but only by 8.8 percent of the female traders.

Originality/value

Livelihood diversification could greatly help improve the income. It was estimated that when earnings other than from fish trading (from the traders or someone else in the household) were added to that of fish trading, 27.4 percent of the households was at or above the poverty line. For men traders, it was 54 percent of the households but for women it was only 15 percent.

Keywords

Citation

Allan Degen, A., Hoorweg, J. and Wangila, B. (2010), "Fish traders in artisanal fisheries on the Kenyan coast", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 296-311. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506201011086101

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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