Malindi-Ungwana bay: Status of the Artisanal Fishery and Socio-economic Implications.
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Corporate AuthorKenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
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AbstractThe Malindi-Ungwana bay area is important in the marine fishery production in Kenya due to the shallow bathymetric formation and the freshwater, nutrients input by Rivers Tana and Sabaki. Tana and Sabaki river deltas are the only trawlable parts of the Kenya coast. Four semi-industrial trawlers have been landing between 300 and 650 tones of prawns between 1996 and 2001. In recent years, prawn trawling has been characterized by conflicts between the prawn trawlers on one hand, and artisanal fishers, conservation organizations and other stakeholders, culminating in the suspension on trawling below 5 nm by the Government in September 2006, to protect the ecosystem, and the fishery. Consequently, a need to monitor the recovery of fish production, fishing activities and associated changes in the social status of the fishing communities, to inform future management plans, is realized. This report summarizes the information available on the fish catches from historical fishery statistics of Malindi, Ngomeni and Kipini, a frame survey conducted by Fisheries Department in 2004 and a one week rapid fish landing survey carried out in June 2007 in an effort to assess the fishery. Canoes are the dominant mode of sea transport in the area, whereas fishing gears are dominated by gill nets (72%) in Tana River District, and by seine nets (27%) and gill nets (24%) and in Malindi District. The number of fishers, as well as crude catch per unit effort (catch per fisher per month) from the landing statistics in Malindi and Ngomeni, show high seasonal variation, and no marked increase after the trawling ban. Artisanal fisher's prawn landings increased in Malindi and in Ngomeni after the trawling ban in the areas below 5nm. There were more females in crab caught by artisanal fishers, the mean size as well as the size frequency distribution was also of crabs were different from observed in 2006. In conclusion, fish landing statistics do not show marked difference in effort or landings after the trawling ban. However, indications of positive change in the artisanal prawn fishery landings and the crab fishery were observed. Data specific to monitoring changes in the fishing effort (number of fishers, number and gear types) and biological data on specific fish and crustacean species needs to be collected on a long-term basis to determine changes is the ecology of the Malindi-Ungwana-bay fishery.
Publisher or UniversityKenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute