Police boss Matawa Muchangi said the suspects were arrested within Ngomeni without, work permits by the marine police unit on Friday.
Muchangi said the 16 are held at Malindi police station waiting to be charged in Court on Monday.
Our officers on patrol arrested the foreigners engaging in illegal fishing within Kenya ‘s territorial waters in the Indian Ocean. They violated the law and will be charged,“ said Muchangi
Recently Malindi fishermen protested the increased number of fishermen from Pemba, Tanzania, in the area.
They accused the Tanzanians of taking over the industry through their large vessels, despite lacking work permits.
Police said they also recovered leaflets warning the Tanzanians to leave or face dire consequences in Mayungu area.
Kenya fishermen have in past accused foreign nations of engaging in illegal fishing using big vessels along the Coastline.
Despite the government acquiring a Sh3.6 billion fishing patrol vessel to curb illegal exploitation of its resources in the Indian Ocean the foreign nations continue to carry out illegal fishing.
The country’s marine has the potential of producing between 150,000 and 300,000 metric tonnes of fish every year.
In 2016 President Uhuru Kenyatta directed security agencies to patrol the Indian Ocean and stop illegal fishing.
Uhuru said despite the huge fish resources in the Indian Ocean, there was nothing to show for it due to illegal fishing.
He directed the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that fishermen were provided with a proper fishing gear.