"KWALE and KILIFI COUNTIES, Kenya — One June afternoon at the Mwanamia fish
landing site on Kenya’s north coast, Garama Karisa was busy mending his gear
for an afternoon fishing expedition. He expertly weaved his threaded needle,
perfectly knotting a net composed of neat squares slightly larger than a
saltine cracker. Other fishermen sat under a makeshift palm-frond shed facing
the sea, bongo
music blasting from a radio strapped to the rafters.
When Karisa finished his mending, he and two other fishermen headed out to sea.
The fishermen from Mwanamia have no restrictions on where they can fish
locally. However, a few kilometers to the south, the community has set aside a
30-hectare (74-acre) swath of sea as a no-take zone where fishing is
prohibited. Since it was established 18 years ago, Karisa said he has never
fished inside the area.
“We have seen improvement in the quantity of fish that we catch, it isn’t like
it was before,” he told Mongabay.
The no-take zone, locally called a tengefu
(Swahili for “set aside”), was
established following the decline of fish stocks by residents of Kuruwitu, an
administrative area with four villages in Kilifi county. The idea was inspired
by the fishing habits of their forebears, and it soon caught the attention of
conservation organizations and government authorities, who encouraged other
communities along the Kenyan coast to set up their own. Almost two decades
after Kuruwitu became the first to set up a tengefu, nearly two dozen have
sprouted in Kenya, with varying degrees of success."
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
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