Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, June 17, 2013

Things start to get fishy in adult environmental education

A sykes monkey comes to observe this weeks adult environmental education

I’m going to talk about a very interesting conversation that I had this week on the forest project. First I will paint a picture of the scene.  We were in a sandy-bottomed, half-covered thatched hut with some nice wooden tables and some nice plastic chairs. The whole area was surrounded by trees and there were a number of Sykes monkeys monkeying around, jumping from branch to branch, climbing on the roof and making a general racket. But we didn’t let that distract us from the point of our conversation – FISHING. We were having this conversation because I made a little presentation for the weekly Adult Environmental Education session.

Engrossed in conversation at adult environmental
The presentation focused on my personal experiences as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and a recreational sport fisherman in Washington, Colorado, Montana, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Nicaragua, Iceland and Finland. After the seamless power point presentation that Alex so skillfully helped create we opened up the floor to discussion and I had a few questions about the fishery and fishing in the Shimoni area. We talked about the types of fish, the ways in which they are caught, the rules and regulations related to the fishery and everyone’s favorite preparation for eating fish. The conversation really started getting going when the crowd size tripled as two new guests arrived. Their timing was impeccable as they sauntered up and took the last two chairs in the front row just as the discussion portion of the Adult Education session was beginning.

Forest project volunteers out in the field

The two new arrivals brought a lot of energy and input. The conversation pretty quickly swung to the oversight and regulation of the fishery, or lack thereof. The health of the fishery and the health of the village of Shimoni are directly linked as Shimoni is a coastal fishing community. Another issue that came up was tourism with the recent influx of tourist dollars catching the attention of the government of Kenya in Nairobi. The crowd’s primary focus seemed to be on the people of Shimoni. That communal focus brought up lots of concerns related to the development of the local fishing industry along with tourism and the general development of the village of Shimoni. Though it was a very interesting conversation I ended up leaving with more questions than answers. We all agreed that we were not done there and that we should come back next week and talk about this topic again. Part two…to be continued.

Brett leads a discussion about fishing

Brett Farrington - Forest project volunteer