Sea Sense started as the Tanzania Turtle & Dugong Conservation Programme in 2001. The project was established in Mafia Island in response to high levels of harvesting of nesting turtles and their eggs.  A community based sea turtle nest monitoring and protection programme was established, together with an intensive awareness campaign. Within two years, over 230 nests had been protected and over 10,000 sea turtle hatchlings had safely reached the sea.  The rate of egg harvesting reduced dramatically from 80% to less than 2% of all recorded nests.

Following this success, the project expanded to the mainland in 2004 and became registered as Sea Sense NGO in 2005.  Sea Sense scaled up again in 2008 and 2017 and now has a network of active Conservation Officers in nine coastal locations (Mafia, Kibiti, Kilwa, Pangani, Kigamboni, Mkuranga, Muheza and Mkinga Districts and Tanga City) covering approximately two-thirds of the Tanzania coastline. 

Sea Sense is the only organisation dedicated to the conservation and protection of endangered marine wildlife in Tanzania. Over the past 20 years, Sea Sense has grown considerably and our portfolio of work has become more cross-cutting in nature.  Our work programme is now organised around four key thematic areas: research and conservation; education and outreach; sustainable livelihoods; and governance and leadership.  Improving the conservation status of marine willdife will always be our long term goal.  In working towards this goal, we aim to deliver benefits for marine wildlife and for the coastal people that live alongside them.