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RUMAKI Plus Seascape: Becoming A Learning Hub

RUMAKI Plus Seascape has become a center for learning about ocean and livelihood practices. From Africa and outside of the continent teams from the coastal communities are coming to learn and exchange innovative ideas and experiences on the living, depending and protecting the ocean and its resources.


After receiving a team fromIndonesia early this year, it was our neighbour fishermen from Kenya. Fishermen The fishermen, who are members of Beach Management Units from Lamu and Shimoni-Vanga in Kwale County, travelled to Somanga and Songo Songo Island in where they learnt about sustainable fishing practices, tackling illegal fishing, improving transparency in resource management and strengthening their Village Loans and Savings Associations. 

The five-day trip supported by WWF Kenya through the K-ECOFISH programme was carefully organized, allowing Kenyan fisheries representatives to deeply understand the operations of Tanzanian Beach Management Units (BMU) and the impact of Village Community Banks (VICOBA) on community livelihoods and marine resources conservation. 

‘It is amazing what positive changes can be brought about through partnerships and community engagement in conservation and livelihood improvement. We have gained a profound understanding of the remarkable work being undertaken by WWF-Tanzania in collaboration with the local community members’’ Said Hussein Ahmed - Marine Program Coastal Kenya Landscape and Seascape.

The Somanga BMU demonstrated effective ocean monitoring and surveillance to combat illegal fishing. Their use of electronic data collection through the e-CAS system ensures high transparency in resource management. BMU leaders maintain high levels of transparency in financial matters, crucial for sustainable resource management. The visitors from Kenya were very impressed by the level of transparency in the BMU and they expressed so.   

The team also visited the Songo Songo Archipelago where the community and the BMU team shared their experience on the octopus fisheries, especially the octopus reef closures and how it has changed the narrative where marine resources conservation and livelihood improvement is concerned. Most interesting was how the fishers in Songosongo deal with post harvest loss during the octopus reef openings.

“This was one of the biggest challenges we faced at the beginning and it was really putting out efforts down as fishers will harvest so much octopus but if it was not all sold they will end up throwing all away as they would go bad. But a few years ago WWF Tanzania constructed the ice making plant. Fishers can now get ice to preserve their octopus harvest and actually the plant serves even beyond the fishers. The Community here rely on the plant for their other ice requirements and needs”. Said one of the Songosongo Beach Management Unit members. He added that the ice machine has become a good revenue generation project where more than 1 million Tanzania shillings is collected every month. 

After the five days the fishers from Kenya were excited and ready to put into action what experience they have acquired from the visit. WWF is supporting the coastal communities in improving their livelihoods through other economic activities for the purpose of reducing the pressure on marine resources as well as ocean conservation and protection.


© Egno Ndunguru
A member of the Lam BMU shares her leassons from the exchange visit