MPV Fish Eagle - East Africa's Newest Wreck

February 2014.

Conservation initiative with aim to create a new (artificial) reef in the Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve.

The MPV Fish Eagle is a multi purpose vessel that was originally built in Germany by J.G. Hitzler Schiffswerft (Hitzler shipyard) in 1966. MPV Fish Eagle was purchased by Eagle Tugs in 1983 and has remained in Mombasa, as part of the Comarco Group, ever since.

When a vessel reaches the age and/or state of retirement there is generally one of two possible options: decommission the vessel for scrap metal (the most commonly used method and the most profitable for the owner), or use the vessel to create an artificial reef. Transforming vessels into artificial reefs is also not something new along the Kenyan coastline: the MV Alpha Fungua and the MV Dania were sunk as artificial reefs in 2002 in the Diani and Mombasa areas respectively. The MPV Fish Eagle will soon follow suit as Comarco has chosen a similar fate for the decommissioned vessel in a bid to return something to the Mombasa area.

This conservation initiative aims to create a new (artificial) reef in the Mombasa Marine Park and Reserve. It will achieve this by creating shelter and habitat for fish, and by providing substrate for coral (and other invertebrates) to attach onto.

Comarco has generously donated not only the vessel, but also the cleaning and preparing of the vessel. Before a vessel can be sunk as an artificial reef, it must be cleaned of all materials toxic to the environment. This includes all lubricants, hydrocarbons (oil and diesel), and refrigeration coolants. Furthermore, all machinery (including the engines), electrical materials (appliances and wiring), wall paneling and insulation material will also be removed from the vessel. Once the vessel is cleaned, it will be prepared for diver safety: doorways will be widened, windows will be removed, access holes will be cut throughout the vessel and any areas deemed unsafe for diver visitation will be permanently sealed. The cleaning and preparation of the vessel is expected to be completed by February 2014 and the vessel shall be sunk thereafter.

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