Fish traders in artisanal fisheries on the Kenyan coast

A. Allan Degen, Jan Hoorweg, Barasa C.C. Wangila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-311
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Enterprising Communities
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • Coastal regions
  • Fishing
  • Gender
  • Kenya
  • Trade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management


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