On 7th May, 2021 Director General KMFRI Prof. James Njiru (3rd left) joined CS Wildlife & Tourism in the launch of National Wildlife Census 2021 at Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kwale County. With them was DG KWS Brig (Rtd) J. Waweru (R), DG KMA R.Njue (4th L), Dr P.Omondi Director WRTI (2nd L). Census will also include Marine Mega Fauna along Kenya coast
KMFRI Director General, Prof. James Njiru (3rd right) with Governor Uasin Gishu County, HE Jackson Mandago (centre) and other County Officials in Eldoret during a consultative meeting on 3rd May, 2021 to establish KMFRI Station in the County
PS SDFA & BE Dr Francis Owino (centre), KMFRI BoM Chair Hon John Mumba (2nd right), KMFRI Director Prof James Njiru (left) during a courtesy call to Mombasa County commissioner Mr Gilbert Kitiyo.
The newly appointed Principal Secretary SDFA & BE Dr Francis O. Owino (seated centre) during his maiden visit at KMFRI Mombasa headquarters on 2nd March 2021.
Kenya Launches a coral reef fish project (Funded by Japan/FAO) to improve food security, livelihoods and maritime safety through increased resilience of coastal fishing communities
KMFRI Mombasa Center Director, Dr. Eric Okuku (centre) representing KMFRI Director and Assistant Director (Projects & Collaborations/CD Shimoni) Dr. James Kairo (right), meet Dr. Mathieu Guerin from France Embassy to explore possible research collaboration with French institutions.
KMFRI Director, Prof. James Njiru (right) exchange MoU with VC Pioneer International University, Dr Gideon Maina (left), this SDFA & BE MoU is on several areas of collaboration that includes Kenya Fisheries Services. The ceremony was witnessed by outgoing PS Prof. Micheni Ntiba on on 22nd Feb. 2021at Kilimo House, Nairobi
KMFRI Director, Prof. James Njiru (right) and Mombasa CD, Dr. Erick Okuku during the World Wetlands day on 2nd February, 2021 held at Sabaki Estuary, the celebration was officiated by the CS for Environment and Forestry Mr. Keriako Tobiko who led government officials and communities in planting mangrove trees
Director KMFRI Prof. James Njiru (right) with Deputy Director Freshwater System, Dr. Christopher Aura (centre) and Ag. ADF, Kenya Fisheries Services, Mr. Simon Munguti (left) during the Launch of Electronic Catch Assessment Survey (e-CAS) system and Stake Holder’s Engagement and dissemination Workshop on Environmental Clean-up and Mentorship Framework at Sosa Cottages in Vihiga County on 4 - 5th Jan, 2021
Funded by WIOMSA through the MASMA Programme, the project is collaborating with research and academic institutions in Kenya, Tanzania and Sweden to study fish production in seagrass habitats while building capacity of young scientists
By Dr. Melckzedeck K. Osore and Dr. James M. Mwaluma
KMFRI technologist affiliated to FLAPSEA Ms Mary Mkonu (L) and an intern Mr. Robinson Okumu sampling for phytoplankton at Blue Bay in Kilifi County
The Project - Larval Fish Production and Dispersal in Critical Habitats of Coastal East Africa (FLAPSEA) commenced in March, 2019, with the inaugural meeting held in Kilifi, Kenya. FLAPSEA is implemented by researchers from KMFRI, Institute of Marine Sciences of University of Dar-es-Salaam (IMS/UDSM) and Stockholm University (SU). During the meeting, Project representatives coined the acronym FLAPSEA and mapped out strategies for achieving the overall goal effectively and timely.
Emerging results since project inauguration cover research conducted in 2019 during June, July, August, October, November and December. FLAPSEA identified sensitive seagrass habitats located at Watamu and Diani in Kenya, and Tanga in Tanzania where sampling has been underway in sites demarcated as either pristine or degraded. Useful data and information has been collected that support the need to protect seagrass habitats in the study areas. More analyses are underway to determine the productivity of healthy seagrass habitats and to estimate the socio-economic costs of their loss to fisheries production and implication to community livelihoods.
Monthly variation in plankton abundance notably the fish eggs is apparent, with little difference between the pristine and degraded sites. Phytoplankton and zooplankton encountered reflect common genera expected in coastal waters of Watamu, Diani and Tana. Peak abundance of fish eggs observed in June at pristine seagrass areas is indicative of preferred habitats for fish spawning, possibly with series of spawning events. Spawning is synchronised with the Southeast Monsoon (SEM) season and peak of primary productivity as indicated by elevated concentration of Chlorophyll a. This could be strategic to ensure that hatched larvae have a higher chance of survival through food availability. A clearer seasonal pattern is expected after sampling and analysing samples collected during the Northeast Monsoon (NEM) season – these are currently being analysed.
Fish larvae species associated with seagrass areas in Kenya and Tanzania were Leptoscrus vaigiensis and Siganus sutor - in line with what was expected in the project objectives, and therefore justification for selecting this Family for planned genetics studies. Genetics work will be spearheaded by the team from Stockholm University.
FLAPSEA has established research collaboration with two other MASMA funded projects based at KMFRI namely Seagrass Protect and MICROMARE, as well as SOLSTICE Project affiliated to WIOMSA. Collaborative activities with Seagrass Protect planned for 2020 will involve data sharing and joint field work to map seagrass habitats. FLAPSEA will share with MICROMARE Project expertise in taxonomy and modelling. SOLSTICE Project will collaborate in sharing regional oceanographic data.
Capacity building is a key activity undertaken in the initial year. Eight students, four females and four males, have registered for postgraduate degrees addressing research questions related to FLAPSEA objectives. Four PhD students and one Msc are registered at Stockholm University, two for Msc at Dar-es-Salaam University and one for Msc at Pwani University.
FLAPSEA has set up a project website hosted at KMFRI and will be mirrored at IMS, Zanzibar. The website shows the project activities, meetings and conferences attended by researchers and students. It also archives images of fieldwork and laboratory activities conducted in Kenya, Tanzania and Sweden.
FLAPSEA Project Team
Kenya (KMFRI): Dr. James Mwaluma, Dr. Melckzedeck Osore, Dr. Jacob Ochiewo, Mr. Stephen Mwangi, Ms Lilian Daudi, Mr. Charles Muthama, Mr. Noah Ngisiang’e, Mr. Oliver Agolla, Mr. Jibril Olunga, Ms. Mary Mkonu, Mr. Joseph Kilonzo, Mr. Samuel Ndirangu, Mr. Alex Fulanda, Ms Faith Gwada, Ms Alphine Mbodze, Mr. Robinson Okumu.
Tanzania (ISM/UDSM): Dr. Margareth Kyewalyanga, Dr. Mwanahija Shalli, Mr. Barnabas Tarimo, Mr. George Rushingisha, Mr. Fadhili Mustapha, Ms Hellen Kizenga, Mr. Rashid Ismail, Mr. Fadili Malesa.
Sweden (SU): Prof. Moniker Winder, Ms. Vivien Holub.
Fisherman at Mvuleni Beach, Diani, Kwale County arrives from the sea with his catch of the day