Wildlife and maritime stakeholders have urged the government to invest in maritime technology in a bid to tap vast natural resources available in the ocean.
According to the stakeholders, oceans and seas have vast resources that have not been fully explored.
Speaking to the media in Mombasa on Tuesday, Coast regional Wildlife Clubs of Kenya head Tsofa Mweni said despite the number of milestones in the blue economy sector the government has not fully invested in maritime technology needed to tap the resources in the ocean.
“The coastline extends from Kiunga to Vanga. As we speak the government does not have the equipment to traverse the sea 15 nautical miles from the ocean shore,” noted the conservationist.
He also wants the government to enforce all policies and regulations on oil spillage in sea vessels.
‘We do not have as a country a lot of cases of oil spillage but sometimes fall victims of the same from other countries. This is because water is not static,” said Mweni.
Sirya Karisa, a Kenya Wildlife Service officer, asked the government to prioritize conserving the marine and marine ecosystem.
He says oceans and seas contribute a bigger percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“The ocean has vast resources and provides employment opportunities to thousands of Kenyans. Some of these include divers, fishermen, tour guides among others,” said Sirya.
The KWS official however lashed out at the government saying it has not developed a clear mechanism of dealing with cases of oil spillage in sea vessels.
According to Karisa, the country should invest in marine technology by tapping all the resources in the ocean saying this will, in turn, make the country a great economy in Africa.
“Kenya can move from being a developing country to a developed country if underwater resources are fully explored. There is, therefore, the need for the government to embrace technology in the marine sector,” noted Karisa.
At the same time, Mombasa County director of environment Samuel Lopokoit called on the need to conserve the marine environment.
The NEMA official adds that the ocean consists of vast resources that contribute to the economy of this country.
“One of the major pollution facing the ocean is plastics which as a country we have been able to contain by banning plastics,”
The idea of World Oceans Day was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, to celebrate the ocean and humans’ connection to the sea.
After raising awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in human lives, the United Nations division for ocean affairs introduced important ways people can help protect it.
The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods”