MPRU kwa umakini mkubwa inasimamia uhifadhi wa maeneo yake tengefu kwa kuzingatia Mpango Mkakati (SP) wake na Mpango Mkuu wa Usimamizi (GMPs) unaongoza kila hifadhi na maeneo tengefu. Kitovu kikuu cha juhudi za uhifadhi kinazingatia:
CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM PROCESSES
The most commonly practices encountered while undertaking the patrols and law enforcement normally includes: Lack of fishing license, lack of entry permit to the parks, unregistered of fishing vessels, day time fishing of sardines, fishing of immature fish, use of illegal fishing nets i.e. under mesh sizes, beach seins, multi mesh net, and the use of spear guns. Others included dynamite fishing and catching of sea turtles.
Enhanced collaborative management of MPRU and VLC helps to reduce conflicts and create sense of ownership. Also, helps in increased compliance and win the support and commitment from communities and other stakeholders.
In view of other stakeholders other than the VLCs, MPRU insists in having collaborative management with various stakeholders with the common interests. Among stakeholders that MPRU cooperate the most includes Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) like World Wild Life Fund -WWF, Wildlife Conservation Society-WCS, Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association-WIOMSA, Nature Conservancy Tanzania – NCT. Also include Government Institution like National Environmental Management Council-NEMC, Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute -TAFIRI, University of Dar Es Salaam, among others. Furthermore, MPRU extends its collaboration with international organization like World Bank and USAID.
PROMOTION OF ALTERNATIVE INCOME GENERATING ACTIVITIES (AIGAs).
Currently, of the biggest challenges MPRU faces in collaborative management with VLC is increased “Fishing Effort”. The increased affinity towards fisheries resources impacts negatively compliancy strategies despite the common goal and understanding. In combating this problem, it was found important in having Alternative (or diversified) Income Generating Activities (AIGAs) among the communities surrounding the MPAs.
So far, among the AIGAs introduced as a strategy to broaden income base and reduce dependence of communities on natural resources includes: Seaweed farming, tour guiding, boat hiring, beekeeping, pearl farming, and fish smoking. Provision of entrepreneurship knowledge to youths. Agro-tourism and horticulture for vegetable and fruits are projected as future AIGAs.
PROMOTION OF ECO-TOURISM IN MPAs
Among the issues of importance MPRU insists is increased publicity of its eco-tourism opportunities for increased revenue collection. Eco-tourism activities in the MPAs so far serves as an import revenue important for conservation. Other projected sources just in the near future include “voluntary polluter Pay Liability “amongst others.
MPRU timely undertake environmental monitoring in its MPAs to obtain evidence that environmental management targets are being met. Moreover, monitoring also provides understanding of the impacts that humans are having on it. Normally, the MPAs are being monitored to understand the status of coral cover, sea grass, mangroves, fish catch, and plastic pollution. And, for general assessments of the health of parks and reserves.
Coral reefs are the most complex ecosystems that provide valuable habitat for fish and other animals. They are known by being beautiful with unique structures. In the marine environment coral reefs are appreciated as much important with variety of functions. For example, coral reefs (a) protect coastlines from storms and erosion (b) provide shelter for many organisms such as fish, marine worms, clams and many other animals and plants that all play a vital role in the coral reef ecosystem. (c) deliver ecosystem services for tourism (diving, snorkeling) and fisheries (d) provide jobs for local communities and offer opportunities for recreation. Generally, it is estimated that over half a billion people depend on reefs for food, income, and protection. Figure 1 some pictures of corals.
Figure 1: Corals of various ecosystems. Source: MBREMP and MIMP
Percentage of coral cover is the percentage of area covered by coral growth. It is obtained by measuring the coral colony intercepted by the transect line. Coral reef health is an important indicator for the assessment of sustainable protected coral reef managementand conservation. The coral reef healthy indicator include some community properties namely coral cover and life forms. Coral cover information is
a basic data in sustainable marine protected area management. A healthier coral can be a good spawning, feeding, and nursery
ground, thus creating new fishing grounds which indirectly has an impact on improving the community economy from fish
Mangroves are among the important habitats that MPRU pay attention the most especially in TACMP and MBREMP. This is mainly due to their importance in many aspects as far as aquatic marine environment is concerned. For example, mangroves are important because: (a) They help stabilize coastline ecosystem and prevent erosion because their dense roots help bind and build soils and encourage sediment deposits that reduce coastal erosion. (b) They help in absorbing storm surge impacts during extreme weather events because their above-ground roots plus their strong stem slow down water flows (c) Mangroves have complex root systems that filter nitrates, phosphates and other pollutants from the water, thus help in improving water quality flowing from rivers and streams into the estuarine and ocean environment (d) Mangrove forests are appreciated in capturing massive amounts of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and then trap and store them in their carbon-rich flooded soils for years. This buried carbon is known as “blue carbon” because it is stored underwater in coastal ecosystems like mangrove forests, seagrass beds and salt marshes. (e) Mangrove forests also provides habitat and refuge to wildlife such as birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals and plants. (f) Mangroves also are known as important spawning and nursery territory for juvenile marine species including shrimp, crabs, and many sport and commercial fish species (g) Mangrove forests provide nature experiences for people such as birding, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and the therapeutic calm and relaxation that comes from enjoying peaceful time in nature. Figure 2shows some pictures of mangroves (i) the tree itself (ii) the dense root system and (iii) the illustration of roles it plays by being the feeding and habitat of vertebrates and invertebrates.
Figure 2: Mangroves with complex rooting system: Source MBREMP and internet.
Seagrasses are submerged flowering plants mostly found in the shallow marine waters, such as bays and lagoons and along the continental shelfs. Sea glass forms the vital part of the marine ecosystem due to their productivity level. The importance of seagrasses in the marine environment is based on the numerous functions they perform: For example, seagrasses (a) help in stabilizing the sea bottom due to their extensive root system which extends both vertically and horizontally. Ocean bottom areas that are devoid of seagrass are vulnerable to intense wave action from currents and storms (b) help in providing food and habitat for other marine organisms. Green sea turtle is known to graze directly on seagrass leaves. Some species of dolphins are known to feed on organisms that live in seagrass areas. Detritus from bacterial decomposition of dead seagrass plants provides food for worms, sea cucumbers, crabs, and some filter feeders (c) help in providing nursery areas for juvenile fish and as best escape grounds of most invertebrates. Seagrass leaves are also ideal for the attachment of larvae and eggs of important commercial fish species (d) help in improving water quality bytrapping fine sediments and particles that are suspended in the water column, which increases water clarity. A sea floor area without seagrass communities, the sediments are more frequently stirred by wind and waves, decreasing water clarity, affecting marine animal behavior, and generally decreasing the recreational quality of coastal areas (e) Seagrasses also filter nutrients coming from land-based industrial discharge and water runoff before these nutrients are washed out to sea and to other sensitive habitats such as coral reefs.