Over a quarter of the Tanzanian population live in the coastal zone and rely solely on marine resources for their livelihoods. Due to this ongoing pressure, some marine species, particularly sea turtles and dugongs, are critically endangered in Tanzania.
Sea Sense works closely with coastal communities in six coastal districts (Mafia, Kilwa, Rufiji, Temeke, Mkuranga and Pangani) to enhance the conservation status of these species as well as their habitats in Tanzania. Activities are channelled through four thematic areas: research and conservation; education and capacity development; sustainable livelihoods; and governance and leadership.
In view of the fundamental link between humans and their environment, Sea Sense uses a ‘grassroots’ approach to marine conservation. All Sea Sense projects are specifically designed to deliver conservation benefits for threatened marine species and socio-economic benefits for coastal communities while addressing the root causes of behaviour that lead to the degradation of marine and coastal ecosystems.
WHAT WE DO AT SEA SENSE...
- Protect sea turtles, their eggs and nesting beaches
- Conduct research into sea turtle distribution, abundance and behaviour using flipper tagging and satellite tracking techniques
- Monitor strandings of sea turtles and marine mammals
- Train & employ community members in marine resource management and protection
- Provide education and awareness in coastal communities
- Conduct social surveys to determine attitudes and perceptions towards endangered marine species and learn from local knowledge and experiences
- Promote sea turtle ecotourism as part of a sustainable livelihoods programme
- Support the development of handicrafts projects to help generate income for coastal communities
- Monitor and report illegal and destructive activities
- Participate in national and regional sea turtle and dugong research, conservation and management initiatives