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Mafia Island Marine Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mafia Island Marine Park
Mafia Island Marine Park welcome sign.jpg
Nearest cityMafia Island
Coordinates07°45′07″S 39°54′01″E / 7.75194°S 39.90028°E / -7.75194; 39.90028
Governing bodyMarine Parks & Reserves Authority (Tanzania)

Mafia Island Marine Park is a protected marine nature reserve around Mafia Island, in the Indian Ocean southeast of Zanzibar Island. It is located in the Pwani Region jurisdiction of Tanzania.[1]

Impact on Marine Biodiversity

Prior to the establishment of Mafia Island Marine Park, experienced local fishermen unanimously reported a decline in catch trends.[2] According to these fishermen, the decline began in the 1960s and was caused by dynamite fishing, habitat destruction, overfishing and destructive gear. Catch per unit efforts were lowest in the 1980s and 1990s just before the establishment of the park in 1995.

Since the establishment of the park, these same fishermen report that the destructive practice of coral mining has been reduced and is now permitted only for subsistence use. However, a 2003 study revealed a live coral cover of only 14%.[3]

Studies have shown that the biomass of fish species like the blackspot snapper are six to ten times greater within the protected area, and snapper body size also tends to be larger within the protected area.[4] The blackspot snapper has displayed a positive response to the implementation of the marine park, but more research on the response of multiple species to the implementation of the marine park is needed to determine whether or not the park is successfully protecting marine biodiversity.

Impact on Fisheries

A 2004 study revealed that fishing sites near the protected area had higher fish abundances and a larger mean fish size than sites further from the protected area.[4] This phenomenon of increased fish abundance inside and around protected areas is called "spillover." Spillover occurs when a fish population has recovered to such high abundances within a protected area that the fish begin to leave the protected area, replenishing the surrounding fish population.

Impact on Local Communities

According to several studies, local fishermen and villagers suffered a reduced capacity to provide for themselves and their families because of the loss of key fishing grounds following the implementation of the Mafia Island Marine Park.[5] These same studies found that, despite these hardships, park management focused mainly on improving marine environmental conditions rather than addressing human needs. In fact, many studies cite the implementation of MPA's as a cause of vulnerability and uncertainty for local livelihoods.[6][7][8]

Tourist Attractions

Tourist Attractions in Mafia Island Marine Park include snorkeling and diving. Mafia Island is famous for its offshore resident whale shark population.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Mafia Island Marine Park". Marine Parks and Reserves, Tanzania. Archived from the original on 2004-04-07. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
  2. ^ General Management Plan (PDF). Mafia Island Marine Park. 2011.
  3. ^ Garpe, Kajsa C.; Öhman, Marcus C. (2003). "Coral and fish distribution patterns in Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania: fish–habitat interactions". Hydrobiologia. 498 (1/3): 191–211. doi:10.1023/A:1026217201408.
  4. ^ a b Kamukuru, Albogast T.; Mgaya, Yunus D.; Öhman, Marcus C. (1 January 2004). "Evaluating a marine protected area in a developing country: Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania". Ocean & Coastal Management. 47 (7): 321–337. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2004.07.003.
  5. ^ Moshy, Victoria Hippolite (2016). The effects of social-ecological changes on the livelihoods of fishing communities in Mafia Island, Tanzania (PDF) (Thesis).
  6. ^ Walley, Christine J. (2004). Modernity and the Meaning of Development within the Mafia Island Marine Park, Tanzania.[page needed]
  7. ^ Brockington et al., 2008[full citation needed]
  8. ^ Benjaminsen, Tor A.; Bryceson, Ian (April 2012). "Conservation, green/blue grabbing and accumulation by dispossession in Tanzania". Journal of Peasant Studies. 39 (2): 335–355. doi:10.1080/03066150.2012.667405.
  9. ^ "Why the World's Biggest Sharks Love Mafia Island". National Geographic News. 18 January 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 July 2020, at 19:12
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