The Marine Institute hosted a delegation of Kenyan officials this week to further a partnership on managing fisheries resources.
The delegation from the Kenyan Marine Fisheries Research Institute was here to discuss fisheries management plans and the assessment of pelagic fish resources.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Marine Institute, based out of Oranmore, and the Kenyan MFRI was signed in Nairobi last November.
This week’s visit was to develop action plan for the seven priority areas outlined in that MoU.
Dr Paul Connolly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services said, “At the delegation visit, we have identified a number of actions which will help inform an implementation plan for the MoU.”
“A senior acoustics expert from Kenya will join a herring acoustic survey on the RV Celtic Explorer later this year and they will also spend time at the Marine Institute to learn more about our data strategy and policies.”
The delegation included Ms Elizabeth Mueni and Ms Lucy Obungu, Deputy Directors from the Kenya Fisheries Service, Professor James Njiru and Dr Joseph Kamau, Director and Assistant Director from the KMFRI, Lt Col B Mwakale from the Kenyan Navy, and Kenneth Gitonga, Commercial Attaché from Embassy of Ireland, Kenya.
Dr Paul Connolly led the discussions with experts from the Marine Institute, Ciaran Kelly, Ciaran O’Donnell, Hans Gerritsen, Adam Leadbetter, Chris Allsop and Veronica Cunningham.
Opportunities for exchanges, study visits, and joint PhD and Post-Doctoral Research Projects were also brought up at the meeting.
Other technical areas where the researchers shared information included aquatic acoustics, spatial analyses and mapping of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) data, integration of VMS and logbook data for fisheries management and a data management strategy.
“Kenya has an extensive marine territory and is looking to expand their knowledge on fisheries related matters, and increase the contribution the seafood industry makes to their blue economy,” said Dr Connolly.
“Developing the capacity to provide scientific advice and technical services to the Kenya Government is a priority of the KMFRI, and the MoU seeks to support this activity.”
While they’re in Ireland the Kenyan delegation will also visit the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in Clonakilty and the Irish Naval Service in Cork.