There have been a number of reports produced on the status of Tanzania and Zanzibar's inshore fisheries. The majority of these reports have concluded that destructive fishing methods and over-fishing threaten inshore fishery resources and therefore important elements of the livelihoods of local communities that utilise these resources. Consistent with stated national policies, it is proposed that livelihood assets can be enhanced and livelihood vulnerability reduced through the introduction of the Indian Ocean-design Fish Aggregation Device (FAD) to improve access to valuable pelagic resources. However, in order to fully evaluate this potential, the relevant livelihood assets profile of target communities/fisheries need to be better understood.
The study assessed the appropriateness of FAD programmes for the country as a whole, through an analysis of the national policies, institutions and processes (PIPs) in place, and an assessment of the threats and vulnerabilities of a FAD programme. This was investigated further through case studies at three locations, which were chosen on the basis that they would be suitable sites for a potential FAD programme (based on knowledge of the fishery access, market opportunities and institutional support). At the case study sites, livelihoods assets (including natural, financial, human, and social assets) were profiled, in order to determine what level of support would be required for a FAD programme.
The project has provided the first livelihoods evaluation of the potential of FADs in East Africa.
The analysis of national policies, institutions and processes including legislation, complemented by study-site specific information, showed that the national policy environment is supportive of FADs as a potential tool for diversifying fishing opportunities for artisanal fishers. It was also established that the legislative framework in Tanzania encourages local management of natural resources and development of by-laws that could embrace FADs, but that there is currently no legislation that specifically incorporates FADs or FAD ownership/management. It is suggested that this would need addressing in order to provide a strong legal basis for a FAD programme, mindful that only after FADs have actually proven their value will there be any interest in their ownership.
A Policy Brief developed from the project findings has highlighted key issues that it would be necessary to address in the event of FADs being developed as a fishery livelihood diversification tool.
Having established that a supportive framework for developing a FAD programme exists in Tanzania, a follow-on project, R8331, undertook field studies involving research activities focused around the deployment of FADs. R8831 also promotes uptake of this projects' outputs.