Kenya’s is endowed with marine and fresh water fisheries resources which support livelihood to the coastal communities. Kenya’s marine fish production is mainly from the small scale fisheries which provide opportunities for employment and wealth creation along the value chain, as well as contribute to food and nutrition security. Additionally, marine fisheries are also important for the preservation of culture and national heritage, including related industries such as tourism, and for recreational purposes.
In 2016, the marine fisheries sector employed about 27,000 fishers operating about 13,000 boats which are all concentrated in the near shore. Kenya aims at ensuring that the fishing industry is sustainable. The Kenya Marine Fisheries Socio-economic (KEMFSED) Project is facilitated by the Government of Kenya jointly with the World Bank. The Project will be implemented in the five coastal counties namely Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu for a period of five years (2020-2025).The Project Development Objective and Outcomes The (PDO) is to improve management of priority fisheries and mariculture, and increase access to complementary livelihood activities in coastal communities.

The PDO is expected to be achieved through the following key principles of project design:

  • The project is expected to result in sustainable management of the fisheries and make a substantial contribution to the development of Kenya’s blue economy. This is in recognition that the Kenya’s fisheries sector plays a significant role in contributing to the country’s economic development and therefore the need to plan the use of the maritime space and strengthen the governance.
  • The project is designed in a manner that is consistent with the principles of devolution at both levels of government and this will strengthen the fisheries sector management and development.
  • The project will provide technical and financial incentives for complementary livelihoods and diversification of income sources, as well as capacity building and support to earn more value from existing artisanal fisheries production. This is in recognition that overfishing is a threat to vulnerable fish species and the difficulty of the fishers to reduce fishing or access alternative livelihoods.


The project will target poor households in the five coastal counties of Kenya (Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River, and Lamu), including vulnerable groups. The primary target group would be the fishers and poor fisheries-dependent house- holds, and rural communities with direct or indirect links to fishing activities.