The Government of Tanzania has adopted a participatory co-management approach to fisheries, which fully involves communities and recognises them as partners in fisheries planning, management, conservation and development. Community-based groups known as Beach Management Units (BMUs) have been established in all coastal districts. BMUs have clear, legally empowered roles and responsibilities which are set out in National BMU Guidelines and are supported by national fisheries legislation (Fisheries Act No. 22 of 2003).  Sea Sense provides a range of training to BMU committees to strengthen their capacity to take on the role of community fisheries managers. 

Ecosystems, Fisheries Management and Governance 

The training programme consists of three modules that aim to strengthen practical knowledge of resource conservation and management and develop capacity of BMU committee members to carry out their roles and responsibilities more effectively. The first module focuses on improving understanding of marine ecosystems and links between terrestrial and marine environments. The second module covers fisheries management, including the use of spatial and temporal closures as fisheries management tools.  In view of the need to move beyond a technical fisheries approach, the third module focuses on improving the capacity of BMU committees to demonstrate and promote good governance within their communities.  Topics include principles of good governance, leadership qualities and styles, community participation and inclusion, and effective communication. 

This training equips BMU Statistics Committees with knowledge and skills to be able to collect and analyse fisheries data for their internal decision making.  Participants are introduced to types and uses of fisheries data and are guided through the process of designing and reviewing a data collection form.  The training also has a practical component.  Participants learn how to collect and record data from physical observations e.g. use of destructive fishing gears, and from people e.g. discussions with fishers at fish landing sites. 

MCS training is provided for BMU committees to enable them to monitor fishing practices in their locality and take appropriate enforcement actions against illegal fishers.  Effective MCS requires careful planning and sufficient knowledge of laws and regulations.  Sea Sense partners with the Fisheries Education and Training Agency (FETA) to deliver MCS training, which incorporates modules on safety and security at sea, boat and engine maintenance, and management of illegal fishing cases including collection of evidence, handling of suspects, report preparations and court procedures.

Sea Sense provides training in fisheries bylaw formulation. BMU committees and their village government work together to identify issues of concern that can be addressed through fisheries bylaws such as regulation of migrant fishers, designation of fish landing sites, regulation of fish processing sites and control of mangrove harvesting and coral mining. Sea Sense facilitates the drafting of the bylaws which are submitted to District Legal Officers for approval. BMU members acknowledge that enforcement of national and local laws is an important tool in fighting against illegal fishing. 

The fisheries governance framework in nearshore waters in mainland Tanzania is centred around the establishment of collaborative fisheries management areas (CFMAs). CFMAs are jointly managed by neighbouring BMUs who share fishing grounds.  Sea Sense is supporting the establishment of CFMAs in Kilwa and Lindi Districts, which involves conducting fishing pattern surveys, identifying priority fisheries and formulating their Theories of Change, identifying proposed CFMA boundaries, and developing CFMA Management Plans.