Kenya to conduct biological survey at Mombasa port 

Mombasa, Kenya (PANA) - Kenya will undertake its first biological port survey at the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa, authorities announced here Wednesday. 

The objective of the survey will be to know the existing marine species and detect others which may be introduced due to increasing volume of ballast waters from ships arriving in 
the country. 

Livestock and fisheries development minister, Joseph Munyao told a Port Biological Baseline Survey workshop that the move would greatly assist in the management 
of aquatic invasive species in Kenyan territorial waters. 

Officials from the ministry and stakeholders in the livestock and fisheries sector and representatives from Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles are attending the meeting. 

Munyao said the government was wary of the devastating effects of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms, hence the importance of managing ballast water and sediments carried by ships. 

"The problem of aquatic invasive species has been recognised, more so as the volume of sea borne trade continues," the minister said. 

According to Munyao, the effects of aquatic invasive species had led the government to spend millions of shillings in trying to control water hyacinth in lake Victoria. 

He said the government would support Kenyan scientists in facilitating scientific and technical research to monitor the effects of ballast water management. 

Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI) Dr. Michael Johnson said that invasive alien species were among the leading threats to biodiversity, apart from imposing heavy costs on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and human health. 

The scientist promised that the KEMFRI would provide back up reference and voucher specimen collections from which future introductions and extinction of species will be referred to. 

He said that the baseline survey will give them an opportunity to strategize and provide data for ballast water management in conjunction with the Kenya Ports Authority. 


Mombasa - 18/08/2004 
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