A group of 30 spirited young fishermen in Darakasi were inspired by the efforts of Watamu Young Fishermen and decided to approach our Watamu Community Liaison Officer for help. Many of these fishermen are spear gunners and although this is an illegal fishing method in Kenya, it is still widely practised. In fact, we regularly encounter turtles with spear gun injuries. However, a positive outcome in this particular case, is that these fishermen spend a lot of time snorkelling in the water and were appalled by the amount of rubbish and ghost nets they were seeing on the reefs. They have been organising days for cleaning up these areas and have been working hard, diving down to remove nets and rubbish tangled around corals and rocks.
Our Community Liaison Officer has been using his interaction with this group to provide environmental education covering topics such as turtles, sustainable fishing methods, illegal fishing methods and their repercussions and the important balance of marine eco systems. As a result of this, the group now understands the mistake they made in clearing their riparian vegetation. This realisation has resulted in the startup of a restoration initiative and they have more than 1,000 seedlings of various indigenous plants ready.
LOT are very excited by the enthusiasm of this group and are looking forward to continuing to work with them in the future.