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How the Coastal Fishing Communities will benefit from Sh 10 billion Project

The development objective of Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development Project for Kenya is to improve management of priority fisheries and Mari culture and increase access to complementary livelihood activities in coastal communities. Most small fishing dependent communities are going to benefit to a larger extent from these as part of the blue-economy agenda’s under President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On Saturday, 26th June 2021, President Uhuru Kenyatta joined a conference of stakeholders’ in the blue economy sector stakeholders at a Mombasa hotel for the launch of the Kenya Marine Fisheries Socio-Economic Development Project.

The Sh 10 billion project which aims at benefiting the local fisheries and small business in the Aquaculture field has been received by many by being advantage to most fishery business owners in the coastal region, as part of a promotional leeway for the already troublesome coast market.

The conference in which the president officially opened in presence of Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho among other key leaders aims at discussing a number of components that would later suffice to the project.

The first agenda, Governance and Management of Marine Fisheries, here they will explore on the governance of the world’s oceans with a focus on the impacts of two inter-connected but historically separate streams of governance, future needs and directions in the governance of marine fisheries and biodiversity, vital to the future of the world’s oceans.

However the first agenda has the following sub-components:  Enhancing Governance of Marine Fisheries and Blue Economy; Improve Management of Nearshore Fisheries; and Infrastructure Development for Fisheries Management.

The second agenda which will now involve the Coastal Community Empowerment and Livelihoods, has the following sub-components: Enhance Coastal Community Livelihoods; and Support Services for Livelihood Enhancement and Capacity Development.

The third component will involve Project Management, and Monitoring and Evaluation, with an aim to finance supplemental support for project management at both national and county levels to ensure coordinated and timely execution of project activities. Among other undisclosed agendas relayed later to the media.

The Project Development Objective is to improve management of priority fisheries and Mari culture and increase access to complementary livelihood activities in coastal communities.

The president who has been among the key proponents championing the blue economy agenda’s has been on the forefront in opening key conferences of the idea since its first launch in Nairobi 2018 under his Big Four Agenda.

“Managing oceans, lakes and seas is complex and it requires us all to put long-term common interests above short-term self-interest. Failing that, our waters could easily become the tragedy of the commons of the 21st century,” President Kenyatta pointed out earlier.

“The availability of reliable, up-to-date, accessible data and information is essential as a basis for integrated and sustainable management of the ocean and coastal resources.”

Given the trans-boundary nature of oceans, President Kenyatta said in 2018 that international mechanisms for negotiation and collaboration are critical to preventing, rolling back and managing IUU marine threats. He pointed out that the trans-boundary nature of the oceans and the fact that two-thirds of global waters lie beyond national jurisdiction, requires concerted efforts to put in place appropriate international mechanisms for negotiation and collaboration to ensure its sustainable management.

The Project will further support common interest groups through a combination of grants, technical assistance, and enterprise and skills training. Small-scale sub-projects with productive or livelihood, environment and social focus will be implemented, along with a scholarship grants for youth, thus helping coastal households diversify their income, thereby reducing dependence on capture fisheries and increasing their compliance with regulations.

With the blue economy identified as a priority sector under Kenya’s Vision 2030 development agenda, the Project will support the government in developing a Marine Spatial Plan to help balance demands from users with diverging needs and achieve optimal socioeconomic benefits.

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