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Underwater museum proposed for KenyaToday's News

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Africa's first underwater museum could open in Kenya by 2014, reports Wanderlust.

The museum, one of the few of its kind in the world, will be located on Kenya's Indian Ocean coast, and will form part of the Malindi Marine National Park.

It will focus on marine life, such as sea turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and dolphins, and shipwrecks, of which there are around 35 in the area around Lamu, Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu and the south coast.

A few shipwrecks in Fort Jesus and near Nyali have so far been identified to become the first sites. Vessels from Portugal, Britain, Germany and India dot the sea beds around the Kenyan coastline, relics of the Indian Ocean coast's trade links with the Far East, when East Africa was a key point in the global trade network. The human remains from the shipwrecks will also be archived in the museum records.

The shipwrecks will be fitted with underwater cameras that will transmit images to visitors above sea level.

The museum will also study the relationship between the marine life and the shipwrecks, which attract fish feeding on micro-organisms on the wood of the ships. The wood also provides a habitat for the marine life.

The project's current goal is to assess how many wrecks there are in the area, their current condition and stability.

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