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Designing a regional network for the Western Indian Ocean Local Fisheries Management

This project which was recently approved is funded by the MacArthur Foundation and it aims to design a regional network for locally managed fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), to facilitate wider and more rapid uptake of effective and replicable local fisheries management approaches. Current coastal fishing practices are unsustainable and in many areas stocks are on the point of collapse. This is not new, but action to address this problem on the ground is still piecemeal, slow and on a scale that is too small to be of much consequence at an ecosystem level. Through facilitating the more rapid uptake of effective and replicable local fisheries management approaches, the proposed network will indirectly contribute to addressing conservation needs associated with unsustainable fishing practices. The project will prepare the groundwork for the establishment of the regional network, but would stop short of actually launching the network, as this would form part of a subsequent implementation grant.

This project will be implemented within the countries of the WIO including Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Mozambique and Comoros and will also draw on lessons from the other countries such as Seychelles, Mauritius, South Africa and Reunion (France) where local level fisheries are either minimal or coastal fisheries are more successfully managed.

Six members of the WIO-C will be involved in the implementation of the project and these are: WIOMSA, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Conservation International (CI), Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Blue Ventures. It is evident from this that Consortium members will play an important role in ensuring the establishment of a workable and inclusive regional network in the WIO region. It is intended that the development of the future network occur within the framework, and with the support of, the WIO-C.