Marine life has been vital to the sustained life and growth of the archipelago. In days gone by, the ocean supported trade routes across the world and the bountiful seas supported generations. However, times have changed and the Indian Ocean no longer delivers the treasures that she once held.
This is in part due to unsustainable and illegal fishing practices compounded by marine litter and climate change.
However, there are ways that these issues can be mitigated and managed to ensure continued life within the waters surrounding the Lamu Archipelago, such as:
Introducing more marine protected areas and establishing better fishing practices. Through education, awareness, gear swaps and seasonal closures we can create a more sustainable livelihood for artisanal fishers. Well managed and patrolled marine protected areas to ensure illegal activity doesn’t occur would lead to a boom in biodiversity and more sustainable fishing for years to come.
Advocating for better managed deep-sea fishing. The increase of trawlers off the coast of the archipelago is a serious cause for concern as it is severely damaging underwater habitats and is a key cause of illegal overfishing.
Introducing coral reef nurseries. Many of Lamu’s coral reefs are damaged, most hard corals only grow 10cm’s per year making the natural restoration of these reefs a hard task. A low-stress environment can enable coral to grow much faster and would give coral reefs a good chance of recovery and regrowth.
The introduction of restorative ocean farming to offer sustainable incomes as well as providing vital carbon sinks to mitigate against climate change.