Pate and Wasini Islands

June 2013

Conservation benefit: Support of a 1,532-acre sustainable fishing area

Community benefit: Sustainable fishing program using modified traditional fish traps with escape gaps

The Kenyan coastline stretches along the Indian Ocean for almost 400 miles, from the Somalia border to Tanzania in the south. It is richly endowed with coral reefs, seagrass beds, fisheries, and mangrove forests. Increasing populations, limited livelihood options, and climate change, however, are exerting pressure on these valuable marine resources. Illegal fishing practices, overfishing, and pollution have led to declining fish catches and loss of reefs and seagrass beds. Fishing regulations are not well enforced, and illegal fishing gear, such as beach seines, small-mesh nets, and monofilament nets, has proliferated. However, traditional fishing gear, such as the basket trap and fence trap, remains popular.

This Seacology grant will promote the use of specially modified traditional fish traps with escape gaps. These traps reduce risks to sensitive coral reef ecosystems. They reduce discard rates and incidental catch of juvenile and non-target species, including sea turtles, by letting these creatures escape.

Seacology has funded previous successful projects on Wasini and Pate Islands, and both communities strongly support continued conservation efforts. Seacology’s support will allow the purchase of 70 traps of traditional design, but constructed with longer-lasting modern materials. These traps will be distributed to Wasini and Pate fishers who have already shown enthusiastic support for this more sustainable fishing method. The fishers will use the traps in the marine waters surrounding Wasini and Pate, where restricted fishing areas totaling 1,532 acres have already been established.

Full or partial funding for this project provided by
Seacology Japan.
Project Updates
May 2017
3CD, the coordinating NGO, generated and distributed awareness materials during the last four months, and this project has been completed.
January 2016
Due to the recent passing of "Professor" Ali Shaibu Shekue, 2014 Seacology Prize recipient and Lamu (Pate) project leader, there have been delays in the monitoring of trap use. East Africa Field...
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January 2015
Construction of 100 more traps for the Pate community has been delayed for several months, but the traps should be finished by the end of February 2015.
June 2014
Between January and April 2014, a total of 100 traditional traps with escape gaps were distributed to ten traditional fishers from Wasini Island. In April, a week-long sensitization program was...
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February 2014
A meeting was conducted with Beach Management Unit (BMU) members from Wasini where information on the traditional traps with escape gaps was disseminated. During the meeting, participants were...
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