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Not only is Tanzania the number one destination for safaris, its endless coral reefs in the crystalline water of the Indian Ocean offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. The archipelago of islands off the coast of Tanzania and Zimbabwe are surrounded by coral reefs and are home to an amazing array of wildlife and unique ecosystems, as well as providing shelter, sustenance and employment for local people.

DAR MARINE RESERVES
MAFIA MARINE PARK
MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE
MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK
CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY
MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA
MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA
MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

DAR MARINE RESERVES

History of the management of the marine environment in Tanzania.

The marine environment and its resources support not only the local communities and coastal residents, but also the national economy. Studies as early as in the 1960s revealed that the marine environment and the resources are under pressure from unsustainable uses. Over fishing, destructive fishing practices, mangrove deforestation, coral mining, pollution, coastal construction and other misuses were degrading the coastal environment and its resources.In the 1960s there were not enough legislation for the protection of the marine environment and its resources. The Fisheries Act of 1970 provided the first comprehensive legislation to safeguard the marine environment and it had a provision that the Minister of Natural Resources and / or the Director of Fisheries may declare a marine protected area if there is enough evidence that by doing so the environment and its resources as well as the national interest is not jeopardized.

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE

Maziwe Island is located in the Indian Ocean at a distance of about 15 nautical miles east of Pangani town. It extends from 380 00’ to 390 10’E and 150 00 to 60 00’S. Declared as Marine Reserves in 1975. Currently managed collaboratively with Pangani District Council and Resident community. The Reserves Is also part of the Fisheries Management Plan agreement with Communities implemented under the Tanga Coastal Conservation and Management Programme.This submerged island that at one time had forest cover extending for about 10km. The main island species found by then were huge trees like Casuarina cunninghamiana (Mivinje Bahari) Breonadia salicina (Mgwina), Cocos nucifera (coconut plantations) fruit trees and other shrubs including tall trees. It serves as a fishing camping to a number of fishermen from different areas as far as Mtwara, Mafia and Kilwa while others came from Zanzibar and Mombasa in Kenya on fishing activities.The island was used by Pangani district residents as a place for ritual performance and that was the reasons why livestock like goats and chicken used to be found in some parts of the island before it was submerged in 1978/79 to erosion resulted mainly from clearance of the island vegetation cover.However, Maziwe remains an ideal place for swimming, snorkeling and diving as well as research expedition, sunbathing and watching dazzling tropical fish.There are wide ranges of marine species diversity within the Maziwe Island Marine Reserve.Over 200 species of fish, 35 Genera of corals (soft and hard), number of sea-grasses, many type of birds different algae and sponges are found in and around the Island Reserves.

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

MAFIA MARINE PARK

Mafia is a large island lying off the southern coast of Tanzania, near to the Rufiji Delta. It is 30 miles from north to south, and up to ten miles in width. It is thus about half the size of Unguja (Zanzibar) Island to the north, and, like Zanzibar, is a raised portion of the continental shelf, not a coral island. The soil of Mafia is mostly sandy and the terrain very flat. There is a ridge forming a backbone to the northern end but at its highest point it does not exceed 200 feet above sea level. Along this ridge there is firm and fertile clay soil and cultivation of annual crops is possible. On the eastern shores there is some coral rock, making cultivation impossible.

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK

The Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MBREMP) was established on 1st July 2000 under the Act No. 29 of 1994 of Marine Parks and Reserves of Tanzania.
The park is in Mtwara district in the Southeast tip of Tanzania bordering Mozambique. The Park includes mangroves, two islands and covers an area of approximately 650 square kilometres of which 430 square kilometres is covered by water.
Close to 30,000 people live within the park, depending mainly on marine resources for their livelihoods. There are few opportunities for development hence poverty is rife. This has created an over dependence on marine resources and the persistent use of destructive fishing methods.
Purposes and objectives
The purposes of establishing the MBREMP include:
To protect, conserve and restore the species and genetic diversity of marine and coastal resources and ecosystems in the area;
to manage the marine and coastal area so as to promote the sustainable use of resources;
to ensure that local residents share in the benefits of the MPA and have priority in the resource use and economic opportunities afforded by the establishment of the Park.

Natural resources in the park
Coral Reefs: Over 258 species are found in the area with a high recovery rate from recent bleaching events.
Mangrove Forest: The second largest mangrove forest in Tanzania with a total of 9 species.
Fish: More than 400 species found in the area with the potential for both commercial and subsistence fisheries.
Marine Mammals: Whales and Dolphins visit the area seasonally (August to November).
Natural Gas: Found in the area with exploratory drilling in progress.
Sand Dunes: The highest in eastern Africa with unique vegetation.
Coastal Forests: Containing a variety of species with a varying status (rare, endemic, etc).
Ruvuma River Estuary: Home to crocodiles, hippos, terrapins, fish, etc. The river and riverine ecosystem are a potential

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY
The Chumbe Island Coral Park is a unique privately managed nature reserve developed and managed by the Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd. (CHICOP). It is a rare example of a still pristine coral island ecosystem in an otherwise heavily overfished and over-exploited area.

The reserve includes a reef sanctuary, which has become the first gazetted marine park in Tanzania, and a forest reserve.

In the following text you will find outline information about the reserve’s history, the work of our park rangers, about our nature trails and educational material, and about research, baseline surveys and monitoring.

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA

Menai Bay Concervation Area in the south western tip of Unguja Island, is a popular tourist area. It’s coastal resources, marine mammals, turtles, isolated sand bars and every year it receives an increasing number of visitors due to it’s attractive resources.

It is an important fishing ground in Zanzibar and supports nearly two thousand fishers and their families. Fishing and resources use had for many years been managed sustainable by the local populace by using traditional low impact fishing gear. However, in the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a dramatic increase in the use of destructive fishing methods. Practices such as dynamite, beach seines and Kigumi fishing had devastated marine habitats and the previously productive fisheries. Seeing the destruction that resulted from such practices, and then watching their catches decline, local people took action to protect their livehoods and the marine resources that they so depend on.

Biological assessments of the area indicate that ecosystems have suffered heavily from human interference, furthermore, the coral reefs of Menai Bay have also suffered from mass coral bleaching as a result of the unusually severe El-Nino event of 1998, making recovery from human damage more problematic and much slower. The past use of dynamite and destructive fishing methods, fine mesh nets and intense over harvesting of nature is taking it’s toll on the resources of Menai Bay. In 1995, ecological and socio-economic information was collected to pinpoint the conservation issues and concerns in Menai Bay. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an international conservation group with a local office in Zanzibar, were invited to co-ordinate activities. In the five years since their involvement began, they have alongside local communities set up the “Menai Bay Conservation Area” or the MBCA as it is called.

They were to do so by creating a conservation and management area, by reviewing legislation for protection of marine areas by developing management systems that ensure full community participation, to produce a full management plan and to conduct research and monitoring programmes as well as environmental education and awareness. By other hand the fishermen orgarnised them selves to form “Fishermen communities”. Each village/shehia of MBCA has it’s community which concern with fisheries activities.

The management area of MBCA was cover 470 km2 and gazettes on the 9th August 1995. It involves 3 district and 19 villages, but now it involves 25 villages/shehias due to MACEMP project started on 2006.

The area is a marine conservation, the local communities around Menai Bay protect their resources from illegal and destructive fishing. They also involved in environmental awareness and activities to empower the community in decision making. Members of the local community attend training courses on fisheries management and conservation as well as law and enforcement. The project is in the final stage of producing a multiuse zoned site where all users can be satisfied and the ecology of the area is not placed under undue stress.

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA

Misali is a lovely island in the southwest of Pemba, Tanzania. To protect the island and the surrounding marine environment whilst at the same time ensuring the livelihood of local fishermen, the Misali Island Marine Conservation Area was established in 1996. For two days we explored the island, ashore and underwater with the purpose of taking video and stills to provide to the park management. We also agreed that JIOQ would put up a Misali Island page on this site.
On the first day, Haji, a ranger, guided us around the island, showing us turtle beach, giant baobabs, caves and fishing camps. In a tree we caught a glimpse of a little black face with a fringe of grey hair, a vervet monkey. There are several groups living on the island. The island is also a nesting place for Hawksbill turtles and we saw some tracks on the beach. In the evening we saw the huge tree-climbing coconut crabs that come out in the dark.

The second day we had a look at the underwater world during a dive in the channel through the reef passage and a dive on the reefs in the west. During the deep dive in the morning we encountered three huge Napoleon wrasses and a school of jacks. In the afternoon we filmed and photographed the abundance of colourful reef fish during a shallow dive.

Misali Island, the treasure of Pemba
The Misali Island Marine Conservation Project Area (MIMCA) is a community-based conservation project and its major objective is to improve the income and food security of 1,000 Misali fishing families while the marine ecosystem and its productivity are maintained. MIMCA covers about 21 square km of which the terrestrial part is but a small fraction. This small, extraordinary island is rich in unique and diverse marine and terrestrial biodiversity.

The island is covered with dense vegetation ranging from bush to high forest. This provides roosting sites for endangered Pemba Flying Fox (Pteropus voeltskowii), habitats for several troops of vervet monkey (Ceropithecus aethiops) and four species of reptiles. About 17 terrestrial bird taxa including the rare Fisher’s Turaco (Turacaco fischeri) and the Pemba endemic green pigeon (Treron australis), nest on the island.

Misali is surrounded by coral reef that descend steeply with hard corals up to 64 meters deep, making an island a preferred spot for diving. About 66% of the coral genera known in Tanzania are found at Misali Island together with over 350 fish species from 43 families. Highly threatened Green and Hawksbill sea turtles nests at Mpapaini and Mbuyuni beaches, with a minimum of 20 nests annually. The island supports a variety of indigenous and migratory sea bird species.

There is a non-extraction zone that covers part of the total conservation area. Recreational activities, passage and scientific research are permitted within the non-extraction zone, but any type of activity that depletes the area’s natural resources is not allowed (such as fishing or shell and coral collecting). Such practices are allowed within the remaining area.

Other important objectives are awareness and education among the fishing families and visitors, reef surveys and monitoring of the reef around Misali, and increasing the eco-tourism on the island to enhance financial sustainability.

DAR MARINE RESERVES >> MAFIA MARINE PARK >> MAZIWE ISLAND MARINE RESERVE >> MNAZI BAY MARINE PARK>> CHUMBE ISLAND MARINE SANTUARY >> MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA >> MISALI ISLAND CONSERVATION AREA >> MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

MNEMBA CONSERVATION AREA

The small island of Mnemba is an atoll located at the north east part of Zanzibar and is accessible for full day trips by boat. Its strategic position in the open seas offers excellent deep dives, protected lagoons, very rich coral reefs and migrating whales and whale sharks… This national park offers around 10 dive sites, we have selected the best ones for you

• The Big Wall
Drop off wall between 12 and 80 meters on the east side of Mnemba. A unique sensation of freedom will invade you because of the great visibility of over 40 meters in a vision of the wall dropping over a 1km long reef.
In the deep blue, you will probably meet some reef sharks, giant barracudas and napoleon fishes. A dive for experienced divers only !

• Coral Garden
This reef at the south of Mnemba Atoll has a very large variety of beautiful coral, and abundant marine life. An easy dive for beginners and a place for snorkelers.

• Wattaboni
This reef is a plateau inside the atoll of Mnemba at a depth 12 and 25 meters which allows you to explore a magnificent coral garden and many small reef fishes: turtles, angelfish, barracudas, moray eels and blue spotted rays. Sometimes you can even meet whales or dolphins at the surface !

Kichafi
A circular lagoon with an intense underwater life: napoleons, turtles, nudibranches in all colours, moray eels; a paradise for photographer.