Why Pemba?

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Our impact so far

© Background image: KWANINI FOUNDATION

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Ha MPA with enhanced biodiversity protection and control of destructive and unsustainable fishing activities

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Ha coral reef ecosystem aided in recovery

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Ha of mangroves conserved and partially restored

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Threatened species beginning to increase in number

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Coastal community members with enhanced livelihoods

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Jobs created for MPA management staff and rangers

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Hours of patrols conducted

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Reef-positive businesses in development

Our Vision

Regenerating coral reef ecosystems, empowering local communities to reduce poverty, and increasing climate change resilience.

Our focus is on increasing the health and resilience of marine ecosystems and improving the livelihoods of local communities living in and around the conservation area. This aligns with the vision of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, and we are working together to reduce destructive and unsustainable fishing activities, develop a Blue Economy in sustainable ecotourism, blue carbon and community-based aquaculture, and employ targeted conservation activities. Surrounded by and incorporating local fishing communities, our activities contribute to regenerating marine biodiversity as well as providing sustainable sources of protein and income for local communities. Improving the health of marine ecosystems also allows for the creation of ecotourism businesses, increased protection from coastal flooding, and decreased beach erosion.

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We measure our impacts using five socio-ecological Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):

Regeneration of coral reef ecosystems

Regeneration of mangrove ecosystems

Recovery of species from overfishing and illegal destructive fishing

Improved catch by coastal fishers

Job creation in the MPAs and reef-positive enterprises

Our mandate from the government

Collaborative co-management on behalf of local government

In August 2023, the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries (MBEF) of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar signed an agreement with our local entity, the non-profit Blue Alliance PECCA, for the delegated management of the North Pemba Channel Conservation Area. The renewable agreement runs for a duration of five years and defines a clear distribution of roles and obligations in the day-to-day management of the conservation area.  The MBEF aims at promoting economic growth, social inclusion, and the improvement of the livelihoods of Zanzibaris while ensuring the preservation of environmental sustainability in the ocean and coastal areas. The MBEF is responsible for interventions in two key priority areas, namely empowering local people to benefit from embracing the Blue Economy; and accelerating the structural transformation of Zanzibar's economy through bankable and sustainable investments in the Blue Economy.

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The Blue Corridor will usher in a new form of public-private partnership in marine conservation in Zanzibar, based on a win-win co-management strategy centred around the welfare of the local communities as well as the preservation of the pristine marine biodiversity and ecological hotspots within the PECCA domain.

– Dr Aboud Jumbe, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries, Zanzibar

The action [of signing the agreement] has been taken with the aim of reducing the damage to this important area for fishing and tourism as well as increasing income for the Government and the communities surrounding the area.

– Hon. Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga, Minister of State Office of the President Labor Economy and Investment

Driving positive impacts through daily action

By working alongside the local communities and their Shehia* Fisher Committees (SFCs), we aim to contribute to a sustainable and resilient future for Pemba Island and its people. Blue Alliance PECCA undertakes marine conservation activities, implements sustainable fishing practices, and actively promotes reef-positive businesses in and around the MPAs. Our on-the-ground management team proactively monitors and protects natural resources through enhanced compliance activities, long-term community engagement programs, science-based approaches, and regenerative projects for environmental protection.

* A Shehia is the lowest official administrative unit in Zanzibar.

Our impact in the field

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The Pemba Channel Conservation Area (PECCA) is an important demarcated marine area in Zanzibar that provides basic life requirements and livelihoods for the people of Pemba. The Blue Alliance PECCA team and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar are committed to ensuring that sustainable fishing, livelihoods, and marine conservation are maintained in line with the Blue Economy Policy and national strategies of Zanzibar.

– Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed, Institutional Advisor Blue Alliance PECCA

Our MPAs in the region

Our MPA lies in the northern section of the PECCA. The programme strives to improve coral reef health by enhancing MPA management capacity and reducing the primary human activities that cause degradation of coral reef ecosystems and negatively affect coral reef health and community livelihoods. This starts with the improvement of MPA management capabilities growing financial sustainability through adequate upfront financial support.

© Background image: Kwanini Foundation

Our four main fields of operation

We work in four fundamental and interrelated fields of operation, and we measure and report on the results we achieve. These are science & conservation, community development, compliance, and sustainable revenue generation.

Science and Conservation
Conservation
Community Development
Community-_-KidsPLayingFootball-at-Sunset
Compliance
Compliance
Sustainable
Revenues
Community

Science and Conservation

Science and conservation via research and monitoring projects

Community Development

Enabling community development and empowerment

© Photo: Kwanini Foundation

Compliance

Surveillance and protection by raising awareness, ensuring compliance

Sustainable Revenues

Responsible, reef-positive businesses to create sustainable revenues

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Science and Conservation

Monitoring

We monitor fish and shark populations, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangrove forests to:

This is done through Biophysical Assessments of the success of MPAs in protecting marine biodiversity. We also conduct underwater surveys of commercial fish species in monitoring stations inside and outside MPAs. In these bi-annual surveys, we identify the commercial fish species (including their count and sizes) using the variable distance method. This allows us to measure the success of MPAs in enhancing fish biomass in adjacent fishing grounds and understand how they benefit local fishing communities.

In parallel, we conduct fish catch monitoring programmes through fish landing surveys and regular interviews with fishers to monitor the health of the fishery as well as the level of fishing effort and the use of any new gear. Fish landings are also an important source to assess bycatch of threatened species. To measure the success of our MPAs in enhancing fish productivity in municipal waters, we conduct a comprehensive catch per unit effort (CPUE) monitoring programme. The fish catch and size data of reef fishes can help gauge the effectiveness of MPAs in supporting adjacent fishing areas through adult movement and, in turn, the positive results of management interventions put in place.

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Conservation

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© Photo credit: Kwanini Foundation

Research

Through funder support, we are exploring new methods for monitoring that might either reduce the need for skilled monitors (a bottleneck challenge in our remote wild places) and/or provide further insights.

Our work will be complemented by reports from our Citizen Science program once this is launched in 2024 (in collaboration with local tourism partners).

Key scientific programmes and assessments include:

© Photo credit: Cinzia Osele Bismarck

Important, Iconic, and Threatened Species

Every species in our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is essential for sustaining the ecological balance and overall health of their environments. Sadly, these marine creatures are under threat from overfishing, habitat destruction, and climate change. Our dedicated marine wildlife page shows the important roles of over 50 selected marine species found in our MPAs, the challenges they encounter, and the conservation measures required to safeguard them.

© Photo credit: Marius Dobilas (Shutterstock)

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Community Development

We work closely with the Shehias* to identify and develop revenue models in the Blue Economy that increase the resilience of both marine ecosystems and coastal community livelihoods over the long term. The community development programmes are usually linked to our reef-positive businesses:

  • In our community-based aquaculture projects, individual households, fishery associations, and village cooperatives are involved in the grow-out and processing of sea products. Our experts work with communities to build capacity in aquaculture and business management.
  • In blue carbon mangrove restoration and conservation projects, local communities are directly involved in the primary field activities and receive part of the revenue from the blue carbon credits, to be used for community improvement projects.
  • In fishery improvement projects, our teams work with coastal communities to ameliorate the revenues of selected fishers through sustainable practices and strengthened market linkages.
  • Our ecotourism programme seeks to develop best practices and training in tour guiding, the local accommodation industry, and visitor management.

We also implement community livelihood programmes outside of our reef-positive businesses.

  • We are working with local communities (mostly women) and seaweed mariculture experts to reduce the impacts of the activity and increase incomes.
  • Through our sister organization, the Kwanini Foundation, we are also empowering community entrepreneurship through basic training, mentoring, and micro-grants to get businesses “off the ground”. Training ranges from English classes and computer classes to swimming lessons and dive certifications to aquaculture and farming improvements.
  • We focus on job creation and continuously monitor the number of people supported and employed through our programs. Supporting gender equality and empowering women is a key focus across all community projects.
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Our key community development programmes include:

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Compliance

Our role as an official co-management entity is to enhance compliance with fishery and environmental laws and regulations. We do this through surveillance and long-term community engagement programmes. One of our major management interventions is to enforce fisheries legislation aimed at fighting destructive fishing methods. We do this through joint patrols consisting of local police and military representatives, enforcers from Shehia* fishing committees, and our own rangers. In Zanzibar, a large part of the coastal fishery enforcement is carried out by members of the Shehia* fishery committees (SFCs).

Our patrolling efforts prevent illegal fishing in PECCA waters, ensuring that they are effectively protected from human activities for the benefit of marine biodiversity and local communities.  In collaboration with national government, we have enabled our teams and SFC members to enforce protocols for MPA and fishery law violations, as well as training them in anti-poaching techniques.

We have also developed new enforcement strategies to improve surveillance routes for daily seaborne patrolling using our patrol vessels and foot patrolling from our observation posts and ranger stations. The team is also trained to use new equipment including night vision monoculars and GPS.

We have introduced the EarthRanger digital tool to allow our rangers and SFC members to provide real-time updates on MPA and fishery law violations, marine wildlife sightings or strandings, and other relevant events. Our team consists of seven male and two female rangers, all of them full-time, with ongoing recruitment amongst local fishers. Our rangers also spearhead our mission to monitor Crown of Thorns starfish (CoTS), assist with the installation of demarcation markers, and are involved in protecting sea turtle nests and raising public awareness.

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Key compliance support and programmes include:

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Sustainable Revenues

Our goal is for each Marine Protected Area to be self-sustaining by addressing the funding gaps that can hinder effective MPA management. Reinvesting profits from reef-positive businesses back into MPAs is a core part of our strategy. We also provide training for community members interested in getting involved in these initiatives.

A reef-positive business is a solution that reduces specific drivers of coral reef ecosystem degradation and contributes financially to MPA management. Blue Alliance PECCA aims to become self-sustaining through the development of a pipeline of reef-positive businesses in and around the Blue Economy. These sustainable businesses will improve the livelihood of coastal communities, reduce threats to marine biodiversity, and create tangible revenue streams for reinvestment directly back into Blue Alliance.

The pipeline includes the development of new products and facilities in wildlife ecotourism, blue carbon credits sold through restoration and conservation of mangroves, the development of a hatchery and an extensive community-based aquaculture company preventing overexploitation of wild stocks of sea cucumber. In addition, we have implemented a fishery supply chain company specialising in high-quality fish products, implementing sustainable fishing practices around the MPAs, and increasing revenues for coastal fishers. Other revenue streams are being explored through plastic recycling and fishery improvement projects.

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Key sustainable revenue generation initiatives include:

Ecotourism

Through BlueWild EcoVentures, our ecotourism division, we aim to harness tourism as a sustainable means of financially supporting Marine Protected Areas and to reduce drivers of coral reef ecosystem degradation linked to tourism activities.

Our approach is founded on three pillars:

  • Through our network of resort and dive operator partners, we inspire travellers to discover impactful marine travel destinations and experiences and to share their stories and ours.
  • By encouraging travellers to learn more about coral reefs and the threats they face and by garnering their support, we work to ensure long-term reef survival.
  • By building tourism-based social enterprises that contribute to the rewilding of the ocean by financially supporting effective marine conservation efforts, all while demonstrating the positive impact that business can have when used as a force for good.

As part of our social enterprise network and through our Blue finance facility, we have partnered with Manta Pemba Island to develop the Pemba Coral Reef Safari, a unique dive experience in which 1/3 of the price paid by divers goes directly to conservation and communities in North Pemba. Other exciting developments are on the horizon.

More about our tourism-related work, partnerships, and sustainable travel inspiration will soon be featured on our Encounter Pemba website.

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Aquaculture - Sea Cucumbers

We are developing sea cucumber community-based aquaculture projects with the key objectives of growing sustainable incomes for MPAs and supporting local communities through job creation. The hatchery and grow-out culture for sea cucumbers will also prevent the overexploitation of wild stocks and maintain ecosystem integrity.

Meet the MPA Manager

Suleiman Kombo Ali

MPA Operation Manager, Blue Alliance PECCA, North Pemba

Suleiman Kombo Ali (Sele) was born in Pemba, where he received his secondary school education. He joined the Manta Resort in 2009, where he immersed himself in various training exercises related to tourism and hospitality, eventually becoming a service fundi. Sele received additional training from experts hailing from South Africa, Sweden, and Australia. He even had the opportunity to visit Sweden to gain insight into the hospitality industry there. Sele was appointed as the head of all service fundis at Manta Resort and then took on the role of Operation Manager for the hotel, where he served for seven years. His dedication to marine conservation led him to join the Kwanini Foundation, the conservation arm of Manta Resort. In 2023, he joined Blue Alliance. Sele's commitment to professional growth is evident through his additional training in teaching from the Ministry of Education in Zanzibar and security training from the Tanzanian Police force. In his free time, he also works as a Social Police officer, contributing to community safety and well-being.
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Meet the Team

Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed

Institutional Advisor

Mohamed Abdula Mohamed is a senior retired officer from the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. He served as a senior engineer in the water sector, Head of Water Department, Director of Planning and policy, and Director of Energy in the Ministry of Water, Land, Housing, and Energy of Zanzibar. His educational background includes a BSc in Engineering from the University of Dar es Salaam, an MSc in Urban Management in IHS & Erasmus University of the Netherlands, and an MSc in Energy from Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh-Dubai Campus. Through different courses in his professional studies, he developed significant experience in environmental studies that later assisted in his professional career and his participation in well-known non-government institutions responsible for marine conservation and the livelihood of Zanzibar, such as Kwanini Foundation and Mwambao. Notable professional achievements include participation in various community mobilization activities in almost all coastal areas and islets of Pemba for rural water supply projects when holding the position of Head of Water Department in Pemba. As Director of Energy in Zanzibar, he was involved in the establishment of the energy sector in Zanzibar, from a rudimentary to a successful and highly contributing sector for Zanzibar.
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Ainess Shoo

Office Administrator

Ainess Shoo holds a Diploma in Business Management in accounting. With a passion for numbers and a solid foundation in financial principles, Ainess is eager to apply their theoretical knowledge in practical settings. She possesses strong analytical skills and a commitment to accuracy. Ainess is contributing to Blue Alliance's financial operations. Her aspiration is to leverage her education to develop a dynamic career in the field of accounting while continuously learning and growing professionally.
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Suleiman Said Rashid

Blue Economy Officer

Suleiman Said Rashid holds a Diploma in Aquaculture, which he obtained from the Fisheries Education and Training Agency in 2018. During his time at the agency, he served as the Vice President of the student organization in 2016-2017. With over four years of experience, Suleiman has worked as an Aquaculturist in various private fish farms on the Tanzania mainland. In addition to his aquaculture expertise, he became a certified Open Water diver in 2023. Currently, he serves as the Blue Economy officer at Blue Alliance PECCA.
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Sharif Hamad Issa

Marine Scientist

Sharif Hamad Issa is a Marine Scientist and an Open water diver. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Sciences from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. In early 2023, he was recruited by the Kwanini Foundation to participate in their marine conservation projects. Within this role, he was responsible for tasks such as CPUE data collection, coral reef monitoring, sea turtle monitoring, and various other aspects of marine ecosystems conservation. Sharif has since transitioned to Blue Alliance Zanzibar, where his responsibilities have expanded to include the oversight of the Blue Corridor within the Pemba Conservation Channel Area.
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Khamis Juma Khamis

Head Ranger

With a lifelong dedication to fishing, Khamis excels in octopus hunting and net fishing. He actively collaborates on community projects, such as in forest conservation and served for a decade as a treasurer in a fishermen committee showcases his commitment. In 2019, he joined Kwanini Foundation, to support marine conservation efforts.
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Hassan Mohamed Rashid

Head Ranger

Hassan, a longtime fisherman and skilled freediver, has a background in transporting goods on dhows (traditional sailing vessels). Serving as the secretary of Tondooni SFC for several years, Hassan has further undergone diverse marine conservation training through government-supported projects. After joining the Kwanini Foundation in 2019, he is now working as a head ranger at Blue Alliance PECCA.
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Timothy Klückow

Chief Technical Officer Community-Based Aquaculture

Timothy is a lifelong conservation field specialist, boasting decades of experience working with rural communities for whom wild ecosystems directly influence their lives and livelihoods. Addressing poverty and food insecurity as principal factors driving the overutilisation of natural resources, Timothy has specialised in the regenerative sea ranching of sea cucumbers. This innovative approach aims to replace extractive fisheries-based livelihoods with sustainable alternatives. He has successfully developed and implemented productive, sustainable, and profitable mariculture enterprises in some of the most isolated and remote areas across East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean. Timothy's vast academic and professional background spans various aquaculture disciplines. He has extensive experience in intensive Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) for hatchery and nursery production, alongside polyculture practices through Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) systems, notably with tilapia and clarias species. At the heart of his work, Timothy is dedicated to shifting the aquaculture development field from small-scale livelihood projects to an enterprise approach that creates commercially feasible aquaculture businesses that sustainably reduce coastal communities' reliance on natural resources.
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Said Shaib Said

Marine biologist

Said is a marine biologist at Blue Alliance PECCA, leading all science and conservation activities. He holds an open water diving certification and has extensive diving experience. Previously, Said worked for the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries under the Department of Marine Conservation. He served as the manager of the Tumbatu Marine Conservation Area (TUMCA) and the Changuu-Bawe Marine Conservation Area. In these roles, he developed and implemented conservation strategies and policies, conducted research, and managed monitoring programmes to assess the health of marine environments. Additionally, he worked as a hatchery technician at the Zanzibar Multi-Species Marine Hatchery Centre under the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He also served as a marine research assistant at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS). Said earned a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Environmental Science and Conservation from the University of Dar es Salaam, as well as a Master of Environmental Science (Marine Mammals) from the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA). Throughout his career, Said has attended various training sessions on marine resource conservation and management in countries such as South Africa, China, Kenya, and Tanzania.
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The rangers of Blue Alliance PECCA

Actively enforcing fishery and MPA laws, ensuring sustainable fishing in 27,000 Ha MPA.

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