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Important Marine Mammal Areas



Overview

In 2019, Thanks to the collaborative work between KMMREC, KWS, KMMN and Golder, we applied for 4 IMMA’s to the IUCN Marine Mammal Task Force, out of which 3 were accepted. These where Kisite - Shimoni, Watamu- Malindi and Watamu Banks and Lamu Offshore IMMA and Lamu Archipelago remains to be an Area of Importance.

Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) are defined as discrete portions of habitat, important to marine mammal species, that have the potential to be delineated and managed for conservation.IMMAs consist of areas that may merit place-based protection and/or monitoring. ‘Important’ in the context of the IMMA classification refers to any perceivable value, which extends to the marine mammals within the IMMA, to improve the conservation status of those species or populations.


The creation of a network of IMMAs represents a cost-effective approach to conservation. The rationale for developing IMMAs includes:
  • the specific vulnerability of many marine mammals
  • the fact that marine mammals have been overlooked by many national efforts to create MPAs
  • the role of marine mammals as indicators to support the identification of MPAs and spatial protection measures, because they are more easily monitored than most other pelagic vertebrates
  • the role of marine mammals as umbrella species which helps ensure that a properly designed conservation plan will be beneficial to the broader ecosystem, and
  • the role of marine mammals as flagship species representing powerful political and public levers for the conservation of less popular or well-known organisms, communities or habitats.
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    To discover more on the process for identifying IMMAs

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    IMMA Summary & IMMA e-Atlas