Two dolphins and turtle found dead in Tana River County

Nairobi, 19th April 2021: Trawling activities along the shores of the Indian Ocean in the Kipini area of Tana Delta in Tana River County has resulted in the death of two dolphins and a turtle.

On April 16th, 2021, patrols by the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kipini Beach Management Unit members found the two decomposing dolphins at Saadani Beach had been reported by residents on April 9th 2021 and later the Green Sea turtle which had been reported dead on April 7th, 2021.

Turtles have been on earth for more than two hundred million years and they can live for over 100 years. There are seven species of turtles globally and five of them found in Kenya are critically endangered including the Green Turtle which is listed as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.

According to the Fisheries Management and Development Act (FMDA) (35 of 2016), trawlers should not be operating in shallow waters as this threatens the coral reefs and marine life. Residents added that the trawlers continue to operate at night despite concerns raised about the dangers of their activities.

Residents also complained that the trawlers do not adhere to the Prawn Fishery Management Plan, 2010. The vessels do not have a Turtle Excluder Device or any type of bycatch reduction device to reduce the incidental capture of sea turtles and marine mammals including dolphins.

WildlifeDirect applauds the Kenya Wildlife Service for taking action and continues to support the community in the area who have strongly urged the government to ban trawling in Kipini to stop the ongoing destruction of marine life including endangered turtles, dugong and lobsters.

Last week, an Italian trawler vessel, MV Roberto, was seized for fishing illegally in the shallow waters in Kipini Area. The captain was arrested and the case is under investigation.