Marine fisheries, mainly artisanal, are one of the few economic activities everywhere along the Kenyan coast. Artisanal fishers often live in poverty and, consequently, we predicted that fishers would not fare as well as non-fishers. We compared earnings of fishers and non-fishers along the coast and examined the importance of income diversification for their livelihoods. Fisher households earned ... [Show full abstract] KSH 1,952 per week, about 48% more than non-fisher households. Income from fishing was higher for boat captains than crew, KSH 1,559 and KSH 1,357 per week, respectively, but total income for boat captains and crew was similar, KSH 1,714 and KSH 1,727 per week, respectively. With livelihood diversification, boat captains did not increase earnings but crew members did. Contrary to our prediction, fisher households fared better than their surrounding neighbours; about 59% of fisher households fell below the poverty line compared to 64% for the population of coast province.