Enhancing resilience of Tanzanian coastal communities: Towards sustainable fisheries and a healthy marine environment (ECOFISH)

Project summary

Climate change, pollution and over-exploitation are threatening fisheries-related livelihoods in Tanzania to the extent that may undermine national efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The marine resources in the Tanzanian coastal zone support the livelihoods of more than 25% of Tanzanians and contribute ca. 30% of the national GDP. Finding potential solutions to the situation is hampered by knowledge-gaps spanning from climate projections to socio-economics. The ECOFISH project aims at filling some of these gaps and thus, contribute to enhancing the resilience of the coastal communities, sustainability of fisheries and strengthen the research capacity and collaboration in the field. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, ECOFISH will provide new understanding of mechanisms, processes and linkages between climate, pollution, lower trophic levels, fisheries and coastal livelihoods in a tropical coastal area, which is currently not available.
Specifically, the objectives of ECOFISH are 1) to reduce the threats that climate change and pollution pose to marine biodiversity, ecosystem functions and fisheries-related livelihoods, 2) to enhance the resilience of coastal communities for climate-induced weather changes, 3) to improve the sustainability and productivity of fisheries and 4) to strengthen the research capacity, ocean literacy and regional research collaboration within fisheries and marine science.
These objectives will be addressed through locally adjustable climate models, experimental and field studies on the effects of climate change and pollution on the ecosystem services such as fisheries, and socio-economic studies on local coping strategies. Finally, the new knowledge and modelling tools generated through the project activities will be used to co-create mitigation and adaptation strategies for the local communities. They will also provide the authorities an up-to-date research-base for the decision-making together with the strengthen capacity in climate studies and adaptations.

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