New MASMA Project: LARVAL FISH PRODUCTION AND DISPERSAL IN CRITICAL HABITATS OF COASTAL EAST AFRICA

We started a new MASMA project on fish larvae distribution in coastal East Africa in collaboration with the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Mombasa, Kenya, and the Institute of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

This project aims to understand to what extent food-provisioning services in the form of fish larval production are threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, and how production of this natural resource is related to climate change and development in the coastal Western Indian Ocean region. We will identify sensitive seagrass habitats that need to be protected and threshold values for healthy productive seagrass habitats, and estimate the socio-economic costs of seagrass beds loss to fisheries. Specifically, this will be done by identification of habitat conditions critical for fish recruitment and key drivers for fish larvae production, which will provide scientific information that can lead to improved management and protection strategies in coastal East Africa.

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Foto: Dr. Jacob Ochiewo, Prof. Monika Winder, Dr. James Mwaluma at a meeting in Nairobi.