29-10-2019 by redazione
A special identity card to distinguish authentic Kenyan fishermen with regular permits from sea poachers. It is one of the first initiatives of the Government to combat the phenomenon of the plundering of all types of marine species in the Indian Ocean and especially mangroves.
It is called "Mvuvi" card, where "mvuvi" in kiswahili means fisherman: the special ID card contains the image and fingerprints and will allow the reading of its information through smartphones equipped with an application created specifically for the recognition and transfer of short-range data by coastguard authorities even in conditions of lack of network connection, as often happens in the high seas. There will be a thousand professional fishermen who will benefit from this document, most of them in the Lamu archipelago.
One of the reasons why Lamu County was the first to use this recognition system is because poachers use boats to enter the coves to cut down mangroves and use them as wood. The mangroves are fundamental for the ecosystem and their survival is linked to that of the entire coast of the Indian Ocean.
The aim is to prevent the spread of safety and to curb illegal fishing and cutting.
There are people who pretend to be fishermen," said Samson Macharia, Commissioner of Lamu County, at the Reuters agency, "but in reality they are dedicated to illegal logging of mangroves. If this step continues, over-exploitation of mangroves will affect climate change and ecosystems along the coasts of the coast and islands.
Kenya's coastal communities are already struggling with the effects of climate change.
Globally, scientists have warned that water temperatures are rising much faster than expected due to carbon emissions.
As the oceans heat up, they expand, pushing sea-level rise that, together with a more irregular climate, makes farmland increasingly vulnerable to flooding and failed harvests. Warm seas also feed more powerful cyclones and other storms, which can bring salt water to the mainland.
Mangroves are much more effective than any other plant in absorbing and storing carbon dioxide.
Tree roots trap and retain sediment, providing a coastal storm buffer and flood protection, as well as creating an important fish farm.
More than 35 percent of the world's mangroves have already disappeared and are disappearing three to five times faster than other forests, according to WWF.
Figures published by Kenya's Ministry of Environment and Forests are no longer flattering and show that between 1985 and 2009 the country lost about a fifth of its mangroves.
Moreover, it is estimated that 40% of the remaining mangroves have been degraded.
With fewer mangrove forests to buffer the coastal land, the soil is becoming salty, which kills crops already threatened by more abundant rainfall than usual in coastal regions.
The warming of the oceans also threatens fish, especially in areas such as Kenya that are at risk of coral depletion.
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