In Mida Creek in Watamu the CBO Bahari Hai is working on a fish gear exchange program to decrease the catch of juvenile fish, turtles, sharks and rays. Mida Creek houses a vast mangrove forest, which is an important land and marine ecosystem and a strong contributor to a healthy coral reef. Many juvenile reef fish find refuge in the mangroves, including sharks and rays. And some reef fish reproduce only here.
Since we are involved in shark & ray conservation, it was a logical step to join the experienced team of Bahari Hai to conserve the creek.
Before 2022 the local fishermen were mostly using illegal, small mesh size fishing nets (monofilament) and mosquito nets. These nets catch literally everything that comes along, from big fish to small fish, from turtles to sharks. Changing the mesh size into at least 3” is crucial for healthy and reproducing fish stocks. But there is a maximum too. It’s been proven that mesh sizes above 8” will catch sharks and rays, amongst others. Our aim is therefore to stay within the 3-8” threshold.
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