Kenyan coastal community fattens crabs to save mangroves.

by Staff Writer

Nearly 20 years ago, what started as a conservation effort and fighting illegal fishing at Dabaso Mida creek in Watamu – a small coastal town in Kenya, north of Mombasa, has now grown to a crab fattening project, an altogether community-owned restaurant selling crabs in the tourist town of Watamu.

A group of youths at Dabaso village were concerned that mangrove forests along the creeks were getting destroyed at an alarming rate. Communities used poison to catch fish and mosquito nets.

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In addition to sampling crabs, at Crab shark they package sunset viewing to earn a living for their community.

They embarked on a journey to save the forest and fight the illegal fishing methods. But experts advised them that their efforts would not be sustainable if the locals did not have an alternative livelihood source. They started fattening crabs, which they sold to hotels, educating locals on mangrove protection. 

Listen to how the Dabaso creek conservation group capitalised on the magical sunset, build a boardwalk to educate locals and groups on mangrove and crab farming, and why community ownership is key in conservation. Crab Shark restaurants employs 43 community members.

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