Kisite-Mpunguti Makes History As Kenya’s First Blue Park Marine Park


NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – The Marine Conservation Institute has honoured the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve with a gold level Blue Park Award for achieving the highest science-based standards for marine life protection and management.

It is the first Blue Park award in Kenya which has a coastal area that supports so much important marine biodiversity.

Kisite-Mpunguti, managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), joins a growing network of 21 Blue Parks around the world designed to protect and regenerate oceans’ biodiversity.

The Parks Warden Paul Wambi, celebrated news of the award which serves as motivation towards a sustainable marine protected area (MPA) to benefit both nature and humanity.

“We are delighted that Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve has been designated a Blue Park. As Kenya Wildlife Service, we would like to thank all of our dedicated staff, local community, and partners for making Kisite-Mpunguti a beacon of hope for marine conservation,” said Wambi.

Established by the Kenyan government in 1978, Kisite-Mpunguti combines two contiguous areas that surround two nearby islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya.

One, the Kisite Marine National Park, is 28 km2 and the second, Mpunguti Marine National Reserve, is 11 km2. Kisite is a no-take, fully protected area while Mpunguti allows artisanal and recreational fishing for local fishermen.

Both areas host snorkeling, diving, and wildlife viewing.

Meanwhile, President of Marine Conservation Institute, Dr. Lance Morgan, said Kisite-Mpunguti is a perfect example of an important and richly bio-diverse place to protect marine life while at the same time providing local communities with food.

“We are excited to see new Blue Park designations accelerating the protection of the most important places in our oceans.

Present was Senior Scientist and Director of the Blue Parks initiative Dr. Sarah Hameed who said, “I look forward to working with the Kenya Wildlife Service and its partners to share the story of this extraordinary new Blue Park is and how well it serves its local communities and visitors. We hope that Kisite-Mpunguti becomes an MPA that others in East Africa are modeled after as it truly protects this unique place.”

Kisite-Mpunguti protects a number of the region’s distinctive ecosystems: mangroves, seagrass meadows, and coral reefs.

This diverse area shelters rich biodiversity of marine mammals, fish, seabirds, and sea turtles.

Kisite Island is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International because it provides an important, remote breeding area.

Among the marine mammal species found in these waters are dugongs, whale sharks, and sperm whales – all considered vulnerable or endangered species.

Five vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered sea turtle species also forage and breed in the park.

Source: Capital news