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Marine Park Bushdrums.com - Striving To Protect Wildlife and Encourage Responsible Tourism Practices http://bushdrums.com Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:34:26 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb The Kenyan Reef – sadly disappearing! http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3426-the-kenyan-reef-–-sadly-disappearing http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3426-the-kenyan-reef-–-sadly-disappearing

The beautiful Kenyan Coastal Reef – sadly disappearing!

 

KWS – Kenyan Wildlife Services has set up laws along the Kenyan coast that shells, starfish – actually all marine life are strictly not to be removed from the coral reefs and gardens…. Gardens… a word of the past!

 

Gone are the days when one would fill their lungs with the salty warm tropical air and attempt to dive a few meters to get close to the colourful shawls of fish rushing from one coral garden to the next using the ocean currents to maneuver whilst the sun’s rays glimmer off their metallic bodies and shiny scales.

 

I recall snorkeling, or perhaps better explained, lying motionless in the ocean, face down and geared with a simply mask and snorkel.  The only movements was of my head and eyes darting from one spectacular display of colours to the next, not needing to search much to enjoy a spectrum of tropical warm saltwater marine life.

 

Last December and this January – I felt embarrassed after explaining to my son and daughter what beauty the Kenyan coastal gardens had to offer. 

Why embarrassed? –  After various attempts of taking the kids out for some snorkeling, I felt that I had fooled them as it seemed my stories were lies.

 

Could it be that the tsunami helped devastate the gardens and disappearance of the numerous corals and fish?  Perhaps again an expert can expand on this question.

I would be relieved if that was the answer.  At least I can put it down to natural disasters hoping that nature would soon bounce back and show its true phenomenal colours.

 

Sadly some areas and coral gardens have been turned into semi deserts and at times a complete bland grey and dull green colour with little marine life.

 

Some blame it on the star fish!!  Personally I blame it on the absolutely naïve, disrespectful stupidity that some locals but most of all tourists do.

 

I saw tourists and “fishermen” wearing their rubber shoes going off onto the reefs during low tide and removing any shells they could find.  Do the hotels not see this and explain to their gets the ethics of the ocean?  Do the hotels not understand that part of this ecosystem is what brings people to such wonderful countries!

Does KWS close their eyes to the beach boys selling cowrie shells amongst others on the beach – spread on native rugs?

KWS have rangers walking the beaches; – why do my eyes see things their trained paid eyes do not? Yet when guests  go out to sea they are ready pounce and take entrance fee for the marine parks!

Why do street stands and shops in Mombasa sell numerous types of sea shells?

Again I have been personally disappointed with the lack of education or sense that is being used by the educated tourists and some locals who for money are willing to damage their own land! 

 

Lucky there is still a lot to be seen when scuba diving as over the reef a boat is needed and a good healthy pair of lungs to get past 5 to 6 meters if free diving.

I say – come back Jaws but is a smaller version to scare away those ignorant reef wreckers!!!

 

Sorry about such negative reports but when you are still young and have seen what has happened to our childhood play ground in only 20 years (when I left the coast for the 1st time to study abroad) – what will happen in the next 20 years… it is very worrying and sad!

 

Cody

Co-founder of bushdrums.com

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Marine Park Sun, 23 Jan 2011 14:26:47 +0000
Sperm Whale washed up in Watamu http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3253-sperm-whale-washed-up-in-watamu http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3253-sperm-whale-washed-up-in-watamu

Coastweek - Kenya

 

SPERM WHALE WASHED
UP OFF WATAMU BEACH

.

Coastweek - - Ranger Mohammed Mwachanze from
Watamu Marine Park carefully examines the rotting
remains of the dead sperm whale that was washed
up on the Watamu Beach..

Cause of death has not been established

 

SPECIAL REPORT AND PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OKOKO ASHIKOYE

Coastweek - - Fishermen in Watamu have discovered the rotting carcass of a dead sperm whale washed up at Kitangani Island, along Watamu Beach.

The cause of death has not been established but it is believed that the sperm whale might have drifted  to shallow waters during high tide but was unable to retreat or it might have died elsewhere and then been washed up to the beach.

The fishermen, Beach Managers and the community along the beach have expressed concern that sharks can be attracted towards the beach by the decomposing flesh and could cause danger to the beach users.

The stench emanating from the carcass could also discourage tourist at the resort beach.

The carcass can only be accessed during low tide  and there has been a suggestion that the best possible way to deal with the smell  is by pulling it to the sand beach, bury it in the sand and after it rots the bones can be put on display at Gede Museum.

This exercise is being done in collaboration with the Watamu Marine Park, Gede Museun, Fishermen, locals and hotel managers.

Coastweek - - Curious on lookers mill around the carcass
of a sperm whale that was washed up at Watamu Beach.

Coastweek - - Kenya wildlife service Watamu Marine park
officials led by, Pascal Magiri, deputy warden extreme
right with rangers, Mohammed Mwachanze, Emily Simba
and Abdallah Alausy, Senior Curator Gede Museum
(touching the carcass) follow the leads at the scene
where a sperm whale was washed up at watamu beach.

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Marine Park Wed, 04 Oct 2006 18:19:57 +0000
Kisite and Mpunguti Marine Parks http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3252-kisite-and-mpunguti-marine-parks http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3252-kisite-and-mpunguti-marine-parks Kisite and Mpunguti Marine Parks are located on the south coast off Shimoni and south of Wasini Island in Kwale District on the south Kenyan coast near the Tanzanian border. Kisite park covers 11km2 while Mpunguti reserve covers 28 Km2. The complex covers a marine area with four small islands surrounded by coral-reef. Kisite island is a small waterless coral island, 8 km offshore in the Marine Park. Coral platforms around the raised central portion are exposed at low tide. The three other coral islets in the park (Mpunguti ya Juu, Mpunguti ya Chini and Liwe la Jahazi) lie closer to the larger Wasini Island, are scrub covered and support no significant wildlife or birds. The surrounding waters have well developed coral gardens and a large variety of fish.

Roads: 40 kms from Mombasa via Diani & Kwale

Major Attractions: Coral Gardens

Activities: Snorkelling, Diving, Bird watching

Common Vegetation:
Kisite is flat and treeless, covered in low grass and herbs while Mpunguti Islands have dense coastal equatorial forest. Sea grasses Cymodocea serrulata and Syringodium isoetifolium cover a large area of the sub-littoral zone of the reef. Marine algae include Padina commersonii, Dictyota bartayresiana, Bostrychia binderi, Ulva lactuca, Dictyosphaora sp., Udotea indica, and Halimeda opuntia.]]>
Marine Park Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:51:00 +0000
Kiunga Marine National Reserve http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3251-kiunga-marine-national-reserve http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3251-kiunga-marine-national-reserve Kiunga Marine National Reserve incorporates a chain of about 50 calcareous offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago, running for some 60km parallel to the coastline off the northern most coast of Kenya and adjacent to Dodori and Boni National Reserves on the mainland.
Composed of old, eroded coral, the islands mainly lie inland around 2km offshore and inshore of the fringing reef. They vary in size from a few hundred sq m to 100ha or more. Their walls rise sheer from the surrounding seabed and are usually deeply undercut on the landward side. The larger islands and the more sheltered inner islands are covered with low, tangled thorny vegetation including grass, aloes and creepers. The small outer islands provide nest sites for migratory seabirds. The reserve conserves valuable coral reefs, sea grass meadows and extensive mangrove forests, with their attendant biodiversity and is also a refuge for sea turtles and dugongs.

Climate:
The climate is hot and humid with rainfall around 500mm per year.

Roads:
By boat from Lamu or by road from Lamu Airstrips: One at Dodori N. Reserve Major

Attractions:
Coral reefs, Sand dune, Kiwayu Island Activities: Wind surfing, Snorkeling, Water skiing, Sunbathing, Diving Reptiles/fish: Sea Turtles, Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Turtles, Reef fish Insects/arthropods: Lobsters, Sea urchins, Sea star, Crabs, Mosquito

Common Vegetation:
The islands consist of bare sharp edged spikes and ridges of coral on the seaward side with a little straggling vegetation such as Saliconria and the succulent sanseveria. On the landward side there is more vegetation including stunted thorny bushes of Commiphora and Salvadora persica. The coast itself has sandy beaches, some with mangrove swamps and a great variation of marine flora. Microscopic marine plants are absent from the upper part of the intertidal zone except for areas of Bostrychia bindelia. In the intertidal sand and mud, the finer sediments below water, which are subject to less wave action, have become fixed by growth of marine angiosperms and there are extensive areas of dugong grass (green algae) and Zostera spp. Dwarf shrub thickets of salt-tolerant plants (halophytes) typical of the Indo-Pacific beach littoral zone are common on the mainland, and species include Ipomoea pescaprae, Cyperus maritimus, Suaeda, and Tephrosia. Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mucronata occur in the sheltered tidal waters between Mwanzi and Mkokoni.]]>
Marine Park Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:50:00 +0000
Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3250-mombasa-marine-national-park-?-reserve= http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3250-mombasa-marine-national-park-?-reserve= The Mombasa Marine National Park is 10 km2 while the reserve is 200 km2. Both the park and reserve are the most highly utilised among marine protected areas . Their coastline is heavily developed with tourist facilities. There are various agents who offer for hire boats to get into the Marine Park. There are quite a good number of companies offering water sports facilities. These firms are spread along the beach. The place is ideal for diving. Diving gears are easily available from water sports desks.

Mombasa itself is a mix of traditional and modern culture. The 17th Century Fort Jesus, which was used as a Fort by the Portuguese against Sultan invasion after which they (Portuguese) were eventually evicted after a two year siege, is within the Island which is a few minutes drive from the marine park. Mombasa Old Town is highly dominated by swahili culture especialy architecture.

Major Attractions:

Beach, Coral gardens. Insects/arthropods: Crabs, Corals, Shells, Sea urchins, Sea cucumbers, Sea Stars, Jelly fish.

Common Vegetation:
Mangroves, Sea grasses, Sea weeds.]]>
Marine Park Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:49:00 +0000
Watamu Marine National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3249-watamu-marine-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3249-watamu-marine-national-park Watamu National Park is part of a complex of marine and tidal habitats on Kenyas North coast stretching from Malindi town to beyond the entrance to Mida creek. It is enclosed by the Malindi Marine National Reserve which also encloses Malindi Marine National Park. Habitats include intertidal rock, sand and mud; fringing reefs and coral gardens; beds of sea grass; coral cliffs, platforms and islets; sandy beaches and Mida Creek mangrove forest. The park was designated as a Biosphere reserve in 1979. Mida creek is a large, almost land locked expanse of saline water, mangrove and intertidal mud. Its extensive forests are gazetted as forest reserves and the extreme western tip of Mida Creek is part of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve.

Roads:
Access is via tarmac road from Mombasa or Malindi.

Airstrips:
Mombasa or Malindi Airports.

Reptiles/fish:
Fish, Turtles. Insects/arthropods: Crabs

Vegetation:
Mida creek has important mangrove forests with a high diversity of species including Ceriops tagal, Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Avicennia marina and Sonneratia alba.]]>
Marine Park Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:48:00 +0000
Malindi Marine National Reserve http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3248-malindi-marine-national-reserve http://bushdrums.com/index.php/kenya/kenyamarineparks/item/3248-malindi-marine-national-reserve The Malindi Marine National Reserve encloses Watamu and Malindi Marine National Parks. The area also includes several coral islets, notably Whale island at the entrance to Mida Creek in the Watamu Marine National Park. The reserve is 213 km2 forming a complex of marine and tidal habitats on Kenyas North Coast. It extends 5 km into the sea and stretches 30 km along the coast from Malindi town to beyond the entrance to Mida creek.
Habitats include intertidal rock, sand and mud; fringing reefs and coral gardens; beds of sea grass; coral cliffs, platforms and islets; sandy beaches and mangrove forests. Mida creek is a large, almost land locked expanse of saline water, mangrove forest and intertidal mud protected in the Watamu Marine Reserve. Its extensive forests are gazetted as forest reserves and the extreme western tip of Mida Creek is part of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve. Malindi Marine Parks' unique historical features include Vasco da Gama pillar build slightly over 500 years ago.

Roads:
118 kms from Mombasa (Malindi Town)

Airstrips:
Via Malindi Airport.

Facilities:
KWS Bandas.

Activities:
Snorkelling, diving.

Reptiles/fish:
It is a key spawning ground for many fish species. Turtles, Parrot fish, Several species of coral fish Insects/arthropods: Butterfly, Mosquito

Vegetation:
Mida Creek has important mangrove forests with a high diversity of species including Ceriops tagal, Rhizophora mucronata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Avicennia marina and Sonneratia alba. Coral reefs are among the richest, diverse and biologically productive ecosystems, with more organisms per square meter than any other type of ecosystem in the world. A total of 140 species of hard and soft corals have been recorded along the Kenya coast. These corals live in symbiosis with chlorophyll generating animals, which give corals their spectacular colours.]]>
Marine Park Thu, 27 Apr 2006 08:46:00 +0000