THE TANZANIA MARINE STORY
The Sea Sense mission is to promote the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources in Tanzania for the preservation of marine biodiversity and the health and prosperity of coastal communities.
Why marine biodiversity? Survival of marine biodiversity is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of coastal people. Millions of people depend on nature for their livelihoods and food security and hence, biodiversity conservation plays a critical role in sustainable economic development. Furthermore, assessments of biodiversity change can provide measurable indicators of coastal and marine ecosystem health. This kind of information is crucial for guiding coastal management policies and practices that benefit coastal people and their livelihoods.
Tanzania has amongst the highest diversity of fish and hard corals in the Western Indian Ocean and is home to the world’s most iconic marine wildlife including sea turtles, dugongs, whale sharks, whales, dolphins, sharks and rays. These animals play a unique and crucial role in the productivity of marine and coastal ecosystems and as such they are regarded as ‘flagship species’ because of their ability to drive conservation efforts that benefit other species and habitats.
In view of the fundamental link between humans and their environment, Sea Sense uses a ‘grassroots’ approach. Partnerships with coastal communities are at the heart of our mission and we work together to design conservation programmes that meet the needs and interests of local people.
WHAT WE DO AT SEA SENSE...
- Protect sea turtles, their eggs and nesting beaches
- Conduct research into sea turtle and dugong distribution, abundance and behaviour
- Monitor strandings of marine wildlife
- Deliver education and outreach in coastal communities
- Train community members in fisheries management
- Build capacity for good governance and strong leadership
- Support sea turtle ecotourism as a revenue generating activity
- Monitor and report illegal and destructive activities
- Participate in national and regional marine wildlife research, conservation and management initiatives