The development of the National Blue Economy Strategy enters the homestretch as the Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs is set to unveil it by the end of December 2022.
The document details how the government and stakeholders will sustainably exploit untapped marine resources as they safeguard the aquatic resources against potential threats.
Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya confirmed that Kenya boasts of huge potential in the maritime sector and blue economy that if left unregulated, the challenges would undermine the realisation of the sector’s potential.
The CS made the comments when he presided over the opening ceremony of the Aquatic Resources and Blue Economy Conference (ARBEC) held in Kisumu and attended by delegates from 35 countries across the globe to deliberate on strengths, research and challenges facing the sector.
“The government has embarked on the journey to sustainably manage 100 per cent of our aquatic resources guided by the policy framework for the promotion of the blue economy,” stated Mvurya.
He observed that global interest in the blue economy has expanded in the last decade with the sector viewed as an emerging frontier for economic development.
However, the advent of the blue economy concept has posed a share of challenges emanating from the various players who are fighting for aquatic resources.
“The National Blue Economy Strategy to be released soon will be very critical in bringing together all ideas which will serve as a roadmap in guiding the sector. This will control the over-exploitation of fish stock and weed out people polluting the water bodies,” assured the CS.
The guideline, Mvurya added, would help the government to ensure that the blue economy-related activities enhance environmental, social and economic sustainability.
According to Mvurya, the regulations and guidelines would be vital in addressing the adverse effects of climate change that has devastated the blue economy and the fisheries sector.
Consequently, the CS disclosed that Kenya joined the high-level Ocean Decade Alliance to scale up support for the Indian Ocean protection through targeted resource mobilisation and global networking with the alliance member states.
“We have committed to promoting ocean sciences in our universities, institutes and research organisations. We will also engage scientists and knowledge holders in the ocean and aquatic policy processes, particularly marine spatial planning in developing our sustainable ocean plan,” he said.
By Robert Ojwang’