Common challenge of aquaculture and marine conservation in Zanzibar

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By Milthon Lujan

Gland (IUCN).- Seaweed farming is one of the activities conducted by coastal communities in many places around the world. On the coast of Zanzibar, this activity is mostly done by women (80% of the seaweed farmers), provides them with a substantial income to sustain their family and is achieved in conjunction with marine protection measures.

IUCN and partners produced a new film on aquaculture and coastal communities focusing on the pilot case of Zanzibar. Out of the AquaCoco project, financed by the French Development Agency under the umbrella of the France-IUCN Partnership, the film highlights the synergies between aquaculture activities and conservation efforts in the intertidal zone.

IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme and the Ecosystem-based Aquaculture Group (E-bAG) of the Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) are working jointly to move forward on addressing the important issue of sustainable aquaculture.

In the framework of the AquaCoco project, IUCN and partners held a stakeholder aquaculture workshop in Zanzibar in July 2019. Co-management, blue economy and the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals were the main themes discussed. The replicability of the pilot project to other parts of the world was examined. State-of-the-art report on aquaculture and coastal communities as well as technical fact sheets on country specific information are being produced by the project team in close collaboration with the local authorities and stakeholders. These documents will contribute to address the common challenges of aquaculture and marine conservation for the benefit of coastal communities.

The film also shows well how climate change is affecting this activity. Seaweed farmers are developing new techniques and practices to adapt to new conditions of the environment: they need to set the seaweed deeper in the water in order that it grows as fast as it used to.

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“By combining a profit-driven aquaculture activity to community-based marine conservation area design and management, the film shows how sustainable development of coastal and island communities in developing countries is ensured by connecting the two activities intimately.” said project instigator Raphaëla Le Gouvello.

Learn more:

CEM Ecosystem-based Aquaculture Group (E-bAG):

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