Establishing a framework for Traditional Heritage Knowledge in sustainable development of East African small-island and coastal communities (THeK-EA)

Project Description

This study will explore the extent of Traditional Heritage Knowledge (THeK) existing among different island fisher folks in East Africa, and how this has supported sustainable utilisation of the marine and coastal resources for many generations. Specifically, we shall determine and compare the level of content found in Kenya and Tanzania; the aims, drivers and the evolution of THeK in these states; and investigate the gender dimensions of THeK and the linkage to past and modern fisheries governance systems. There is an urgent need to put value on indigenous knowledge of marine resources in the Western Indian Ocean region (WIO), so that it is not lost but factored in during planning and implementation of large-scale Blue Economy projects that have the capacity to dramatically alter the maritime cultural landscape. Also, THeK plays a critical role in conservation of biological biodiversity and in sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. Socio-ecological data on marine THeK will be collected using an array of interviews, focus group discussions, questionnaires, and field observations. Understanding and description of THeK is expected to raise awareness, enhance conservation and promote its use amongst modern and future fisheries communities so as to improve fisheries co-management, enhance understanding of marine ecology in the WIO and eventually promote the enshrinement of maritime cultural heritage in sustainable development arena.


Location: Kenya and Tanzania

PI: Chris McGonigle (Ulster University)

Co-Is: Chepkemboi Labatt (Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute), Mwanahija Shalli (Institute of Marine Sciences, Zanzibar), Renison Ruwa (Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute)

Partners: Ulster University, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Institute of Marine Sciences РZanzibar

Size: Medium