Species Composition of Fisheries Resources of the Tana and Sabaki Estuaries in the Malindi-Ungwana Bay, Kenya

  • Cosmas N. MungaEmail author
  • Edward Kimani
  • Renison K. Ruwa
  • Ann Vanreusel
Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)


For over 30 decades, the Sabaki and Tana estuaries of the Malindi-Ungwana Bay, Kenya have supported both the artisanal fishery and semi-industrial bottom trawl sectors. Currently these estuaries in the bay support over 3 000 artisanal fishers and a maximum acceptable fleet of four medium-sized trawlers. These sectors have exerted pressure on the fisheries resources of the bay and will continue to do so due to the increasing artisanal fishing effort. We describe the present status of the fisheries resources of the estuaries in the bay following shore-based catch assessments between 2009 and 2011, and shallow-water bottom trawl surveys in early 2011. These aimed to determine species composition, relative abundance and distribution patterns of the penaeid shrimps and associated trawl fish bycatches, and fish catches from the artisanal fishers. Five shrimp species: Fenneropenaeus indicus, Penaeus monodon, Metapenaeus monoceros, Penaeus semisulcatus and Penaeus japonicus were recorded. Distinct shrimp species composition existed between the two estuaries characterised by more abundant F. indicus in the Tana estuary, and more abundant P. semisulcatus in the Sabaki estuary. Bottom trawl fish bycatch species diversity was higher than for artisanal fish catches with a total of 223 and 177 species respectively. Shrimp total biomass and catch rates were significantly higher during the wet Southeast Monsoon (SEM) season than the dry Northeast Monsoon (NEM) season, and decreased as depth increased. On the other hand, trawl bycatch rates were significantly higher in inshore than offshore areas and distinct in composition but less differing between the seasons. Similarity in catch composition was evident between the artisanal catches and bottom trawl bycatches in the inshore areas. This similarity was attributed mainly to seven common and most abundant fish species targeted in artisanal fishery as well as these species made the highest bycatch proportion in the shrimp bottom trawls. Significantly smaller-sized individuals of these seven species occurred in trawl bycatches than in artisanal catches attributed to differences in gear selectivity. Implementation of the present shrimp fishery management plan, and continued monitoring of fish trawl bycatches will be crucial for the effective management of fisheries resources of the estuaries in the bay.


Species composition Semi-industrial bottom trawl Penaeid shrimps Fish bycatches Artisanal catches Tana Sabaki Kenya 


  1. Chong KC, Dwponngo A, Ilyas S, Martosubroto P (1987) Some experiences and highlights of the Indonesian trawl ban: bioeconomics and socio-economics. Indo Pac Fish Comm RAPA Rep 10:458–477Google Scholar
  2. Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, Pratchett MS, Wilson SK, Raina JB (2009) Gear-based fisheries management as a potential adaptive response to climate change and coral mortality. J Appl Ecol 46:724–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Clarke KR, Warwick RM (2001) Change in marine communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation, 2nd edn. PRIMER-E, Plymouth, UK, 172 pGoogle Scholar
  4. de Freitas AJ (1986) Selection of nursery areas by six Southeast African Penaeidae. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 23:901–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. de Freitas AJ (2011) The Penaeoidea of South Africa IV – the family Penaeidae: genus Penaeus. Oceanographic Research Institute investigational report no. 59, 125 pGoogle Scholar
  6. Fennessy ST (1994) Incidental capture of elasmobranchs by commercial prawn trawlers on the Tugela Bank, Natal, South Africa. S Afr J Mar Sci 14:287–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fennessy ST, Mwatha GK, Thiele W (eds) (2004) Report of regional workshop on approaches to reducing shrimp trawl by-catch in the Western Indian Ocean, Mombasa, Kenya. FAO fisheries report 734. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, 13–15 April 2003, 49 pGoogle Scholar
  8. Fennessy ST, Vincent X, Budeba Y, Mueni E, Gove DZ (2008) An update on initiatives to reduce prawn trawl by-catch in the Western Indian Ocean. West Indian Ocean J Mar Sci 7(2):217–222Google Scholar
  9. Fischer W, Bianchi G (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean Fishing Area 51, vol V. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  10. Forbes AT, Demetriades NT (2005) A review of the commercial, shallow water penaeid prawn resource of South Africa: status, fisheries, aquaculture and management. Specialist report prepared for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa. Marine and Estuarine Research, 64 pGoogle Scholar
  11. Fulanda B, Munga C, Ohtomi J, Osore M, Mugo R, Hossain MY (2009) The structure and evolution of the coastal migrant fishery of Kenya. Ocean Coast Manag 54:401–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fulanda B, Ohtomi J, Mueni E, Kimani E (2011) Fishery trends, resource-use and management system in the Ungwana Bay fishery, Kenya. Ocean Coast Manage 54:401–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gobert B (1994) Size structures of demersal catches in multispecies multigear tropical fishery. Fish Res 19:87–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Government of Kenya (2002) Kenya 1999 population and housing census. Central Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Finance and Planning, NairobiGoogle Scholar
  15. Government of Kenya (2008) Kenya state of the coast report: towards the integrated management of Kenya’s coastal and marine resources. UNEP and NEMA, Nairobi, 90 pGoogle Scholar
  16. Government of Kenya (2010) Fisheries annual statistical bulletin 2010. Ministry of Fisheries Development, Department of Fisheries, Nairobi, 56 pGoogle Scholar
  17. Government of Kenya (2014) Marine waters fisheries frame survey 2014 report. Ministry of Fisheries Development, State Department of Fisheries, Nairobi, 88 pGoogle Scholar
  18. Hughes DA (1966) Investigations of the “nursery areas” and habitat preferences of juvenile penaeid prawns in Mozambique. J Appl Ecol 3:349–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Iversen SA (1984) Kenyan marine fish resources in waters deeper than 10 meters investigated by R/V “DR. FRIDTJOF NANSEN”. In: Iversen SA, Myklevoll S (eds) Proceedings of the NORAD-Kenya seminar to review the marine fish stocks and fisheries in Kenya, Mombasa, Kenya, 13–15 March 1984Google Scholar
  20. Jiddawi NS, Öhman MC (2002) Marine fisheries in Tanzania. Ambio 31:518–527CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kitheka JU (2013) River sediment supply, sedimentation and transport of the highly turbid sediment plume in Malindi Bay, Kenya. J Geogr Sci 23(3):465–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kitheka JU, Obiero M, Nthenge P (2005) River discharge, sediment transport and exchange in the Tana estuary, Kenya. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 63:455–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lieske E, Myers R (1994) Collins pocket guide to coral reef fishes: Indo-pacific and Caribbean. Herper Collins Publisher, London, 400 pGoogle Scholar
  24. Macia A (2004) Juvenile penaeid shrimp density, spatial distribution and size composition in four adjacent habitats within a mangrove-fringed bay on Inhaca Island, Mozambique. West Indian Ocean J Mar Sci 3:163–178Google Scholar
  25. McClanahan TR (1988) Seasonality in East Africa’s coastal waters. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 44:191–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McClanahan TR, Mangi SC (2004) Gear-based management of a tropical artisanal fishery based on species selectivity and capture size. Fish Manage Ecol 11:51–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Munga CN, Ndegwa S, Fulanda B, Manyala J, Kimani E, Ohtomi J, Vanreusel A (2012) Bottom shrimp trawling impacts on species distribution and fishery dynamics; Ungwana Bay fishery Kenya before and after the 2006 trawl ban. Fish Sci 78:209–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Munga CN, Mwangi S, Ong’anda H, Ruwa R, Manyala J, Groeneveld JC, Kimani E, Vanreusel A (2013) Species composition, distribution patterns and population structure of penaeid shrimps in Malindi-Ungwana Bay, Kenya, based on experimental bottom trawl surveys. Fish Res 147:93–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Munga CN, Omukoto JO, Kimani EN (2014) Propulsion-gear-based characterisation of artisanal fisheries in the Malindi-Ungwana Bay, Kenya and its use for fisheries management. Ocean Coast Manage 98:130–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mutagyera WB (1984) Distribution of some deep water prawn and lobster species in Kenya’s waters. In: Iversen SA, Myklevoll S (eds) The proceedings of the NORAD-Kenya seminar to review the marine fish stocks and fisheries in Kenya, Mombasa, Kenya, 13–15 March 1984Google Scholar
  31. Mwatha GK (2005) Stock assessment and population dynamics of penaeid prawns in the prawn trawling grounds of Malindi-Ungwana Bay: the challenges of managing the prawn fishery in Kenya, WIOMSA/MARG-I/2005-06, 21 pGoogle Scholar
  32. Pauly D (1980) On the interrelationships between natural mortality, growth parameters and mean environmental temperature in 175 fish stocks. Journal du Conseil international pour l’Exploration de la Mer 39:175–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rabago-Quiroz CH, Lopez-Martinez J, Herrera-Valdivia E, Navare-Martinez MO, Rodriguez-Romero J (2008) Population dynamics and spatial distribution of flatfish species in shrimp trawl bycatch in the Gulf of California. Hidrobiologica 18(3):177–188Google Scholar
  34. Saetersdal G, Bianchi G, Stromme T, Venema C (1993) The Dr. Fridtjof Nansen Programme 1975–1993. Investigations of fishery resources in developing countries. History of the programme and review of results. FAO fisheries technical paper no. 391. FAO, Rome, 434 pGoogle Scholar
  35. Semesi AK, Mgaya YD, Muruke MHS, Francis J, Mtolera M, Msumi G (1998) Coastal resources utilisation and conservation issues in Bagamoyo. Ambio 27:635–644Google Scholar
  36. Smith JLB, Heemstra R (1998) Smith’s sea fishes, 4th edn. Valiant Publishing, Santon, 578 pGoogle Scholar
  37. Spar P, Venema SC (1998) Introduction to tropical fish stock assessment: part 1 manual. FAO fisheries technical paper 306/1. FAO, Rome, 407 pGoogle Scholar
  38. Stobutzki I, Miller M, Brewer D (2001) Sustainability of fishery bycatch: a process for assessing highly diverse and numerous bycatch. Environ Conserv 28:167–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Teikwa ED, Mgaya YD (2003) Abundance and reproductive biology of the Penaeid prawns of Bagamoyo coastal waters, Tanzania. West Indian Ocean J Mar Sci 2:117–126Google Scholar
  40. Tonks ML, Griffiths SP, Heales DS, Brewer DT, Dell Q (2008) Species composition and temporal variation of prawn trawl bycatch in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, northwesten Australia. Fish Res 89:276–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tychsen J (ed) (2006) KenSea. Environmental sensitivity atlas for coastal areas of Kenya. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Copenhagen, 76 pp. ISBN 87-7871-191-6Google Scholar
  42. van der Elst RP (1981) A guide to the common sea fishes of Southern African. Struik Fisher Publishers, Cape Town, 398 pGoogle Scholar
  43. van der Elst RP, Everret BI, Jiddawi N, Mwatha G, Alfonso PS, Boulle D (2005) Fish, fishers and fisheries of the Western Indian Ocean; their diversity and status, a preliminary assessment. Philos Trans R Soc Lond A 363:263–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vance DJ, Heales DS, Loneragan NR (1994) Seasonal, diel and tidal variation in beam-trawl catches of juvenile grooved tiger prawns, Penaeus semisulcatus (Decapoda: Penaeidae), in the Embley River, north-eastern Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Aust J Mar Freshw Res 45:35–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Venema SC (1984) Review of marine resource surveys in Kenyan waters. In: Iversen SA, Myklevoll S (eds) Proceedings of the NORAD-Kenya seminar to review the marine fish stocks and fisheries in Kenya, Mombasa, Kenya, 13–15 March 1984Google Scholar
  46. WWF (2004) Eastern African Marine Ecoregion. Towards a western Indian Ocean dugong conservation strategy: the status of dugongs in the western Indian Ocean region and priority conservation actions. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, WWF, 68 pGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cosmas N. Munga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edward Kimani
    • 2
  • Renison K. Ruwa
    • 2
  • Ann Vanreusel
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environment and Health Sciences, Marine Sciences SectionTechnical University of MombasaMombasaKenya
  2. 2.Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research InstituteMombasaKenya
  3. 3.Marine Biology Research GroupGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

Personalised recommendations