Watamu stands firm against the illegal ringnet fishery yesterday calling for an end to this destructive fishery in Watamu's protected marine areas, in a renewed battle.
Watamu fishing village witnessed a major show of solidarity against the ringnet fishery from within the fishing community and environmental groups including, Watamu Marine Association, Mida Creek Conservation Community,Watamu Watamu Marine Excursions, Watamu Safari Sellers Association, Watamu Association of Boat Operators, the wider community. Also including village elders Sportfishing,Hemingways Watamu,and other stakeholders have said NO and rejected the Ringnet in Watamu yesterday- 23rd October at the Chiefs office. Also attending were County fisheries director, Warden Kenya Wildlife Service Watamu and the Assistant chief representing the Chief, who was earlier present before the meeting. For Facebook highlights see Watamu Against the Ringnet
What is Ring Netting? It is another illegal fishing method backed by big businessmen and is very destructive on a localised scale. Ring nets were designed to target shoaling migratory fish in deeper waters. In Kenyan waters they are most often used to target shoaling reef fish in our shallow coastal waters and lagoons.
Schools of surgeon fish, emperors, snappers and sweet lips are spotted by fishermen using SCUBA gears who then direct the boats to close the ring net around them taking out tonnes of fish in each haul. Decimating reef fish stocks has knock on effects for coral reefs and sea grass meadows resulting in poor health, production and eventual decay.
Our local subsistence fishermen depend on reef and lagoon fish for food and livelihood. As the coral reef and sea grass fish breeding grounds decline, recreational SCUBA diving and game fishing businesses will also decline. The loss of these businesses and a local high protein food source will have serious socio-economic impacts not just in Watamu but coast-wide.
For more information please see Watamu Marine Association Against the Ringnet Fishery
Also see: http://www.watamu.biz/