Conservationists in Watamu have raised concern over the decline of dolphins in the Watamu marine park. The decline is attributed to the decrease in fish stock caused by uncontrolled commercial fishing in the reserve.
Watamu Marine Association and Kenya Wildlife Service researchers said the shortage of fish, which is the main food for the dolphins, could have led to the decline.
The association is conducting a survey in collaboration with the KWS called Dolphin Eco tourism Research and Conservation. The NGO is said to be developing a dolphin conservation management strategy.
Asma Hadi the NGO’s project coordinator said the conservation programme will involve developing educational materials for the public that will increase understanding of the special creatures.
She said WMA together with community groups, from tourism conservation and civil society in Watamu have embarked on the research on the dolphin Eco tourism Conservation International fund for Animal welfare in East Africa.”The project involves community education and research. Its education agenda involves familiarising boat operators, tour guides and visitors on the benefits of best practice guidelines for dolphin watching,”she said. She said the aim of the project is to ensure dolphins are not disturbed or distressed in their natural habitat.