The Marine Institute recently hosted a delegation of officials from Kenya as part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement signed with the Kenyan Marine Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI).
The official visit focused on developing an action plan around seven priority areas as outlined in the MoU signed in Nairobi in November 2017.
The priority areas include marine fisheries management plans, hydro acoustics and assessment of pelagic fisheries resources, spatial analyses and mapping of Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) data, integration of VMS and logbook data for fisheries management and a data management strategy. Opportunities for exchange, study visits and developing joint PhD and Post-Doctoral research projects are also a focus of the discussions.
Dr Paul Connolly, Director of Fisheries Ecosystems Advisory Services said, "At the delegation visit, we have identified a number of actions which will help inform an implementation plan for the MoU. A senior acoustics expert from Kenya will join a herring acoustic survey on the RV Celtic Explorer later this year and they will also spend time at the Marine Institute to learn more about our data strategy and policies."
The delegation included Ms Elizabeth Mueni and Ms Lucy Obungu, Deputy Directors from the Kenya Fisheries Service, Professor James Njiru, Director and Dr Joseph Kamau, Assistant Director from the KMFRI, Lt Col B Mwakale from the Kenyan Navy, and Kenneth Gitonga, Commercial Attaché from Embassy of Ireland, Kenya.
Dr Paul Connolly led the discussions with experts from the Marine Institute, Ciaran Kelly, Ciaran O'Donnell, Hans Gerritsen, Adam Leadbetter, Chris Allsop and Veronica Cunningham.
"Kenya has an extensive marine territory and is looking to expand their knowledge on fisheries related matters, and increase the contribution the seafood industry makes to their blue economy. Developing the capacity to provide scientific advice and technical services to the Kenya Government is a priority of the KMFRI, and the MoU seeks to support this activity," Dr Paul Connolly said.
The delegation from Kenya will also visit the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority in Clonakilty and the Irish Naval Service in Cork.