World Oceans Day Festival Kicks Off at KMFRI in Mombasa
06/05/2024 16:24 in Blue Economy

By Mercy Mumbua

The World Oceans Day festival commenced at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) in Mombasa County, marking the beginning of a five-day series of events from June 4th to 8th, 2024. This festival, celebrating World Oceans Day on June 8th, features an array of cultural and educational activities designed to raise public awareness about the impact of human actions on the oceans.

Dr. James Maluma, the Director of Oceans Coastal Systems and Blue Economy in Mombasa, officially opened the event. The launch day was filled with engaging activities, workshops, and discussions promoting ocean conservation. Participants left the event inspired and eager for the days ahead.

Dr.James Maluma, the Director of Oceans Coastal Systems Blue Economy (KMFRI) in Mombasa County, spoke with attendees at the Ocean Festival. Photo: Ali Mzee

Mr. Tsofa Mweni, Coast Regional Head of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, also gave some welcoming remarks. He appreciated the partnership with Alliance Française (AF) Mombasa and KMFRI and invited everyone to explore the ongoing research.

Supported by the French Embassy, Alliance Française (AF) Mombasa, and the Wildlife Society of Kenya, the festival brought together students from various primary and private schools in Mombasa County and participants from Nairobi County. The day was enriched with entertainment, including songs and films on ocean conservation.

Mr. Tsofa Mweni, Coast Regional Head of  Wildlife Clubs of Kenya Photo: Ali Mzee

In his address to the media, Dr. James Maluma highlighted the importance of mangrove restoration, emphasizing ongoing research encouraging the planting of mangroves in deforested or unplanted areas. "We are working on research encouraging people to plant mangroves in areas where they were cut or have never been planted. There's an organization championing this research called MIKOKO POMOJA, teaching people about planting mangroves," he explained. Dr. Maluma also pointed out the alarming increase in plastic pollution, noting, "According to our research, pollution is increasing, especially plastic pollution. Plastic bottles and all plastics contribute to microplastics, which, if ingested by sea creatures like fish, affect us once we consume them."

Lukas Malcor, the Director of Alliance Française (AF) Mombasa, reiterated the festival's goal to engage public schools and foster connections between scientists, decision-makers, and artists. "Our aim is to target many public schools and connect many scientists, decision-makers, and artists with the same objective to protect the environment," he stated.

Bernard Abeille plays the double bass during the event. Photo: Ali Mzee

Throughout the day, students explored various departments within KMFRI, gaining insights into the institute's efforts in marine conservation and aquatic life research. The festival's opening day was a testament to the power of education and collaboration in promoting ocean health and sustainability.

The opening day concluded with a clear and powerful message: collective action is essential for the future health of our oceans. Key takeaways included practical steps individuals can take to reduce their plastic footprint and supporting policies protecting marine habitats.

As the festival progresses, attendees can look forward to diverse activities, including more educational workshops and eco-conscious entertainment. The coming days promise impactful discussions and initiatives, furthering the festival's mission to inspire and educate on ocean conservation.

Stay tuned for more updates on the festival's unfolding events and the powerful stories of those dedicated to preserving our oceans.





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