The Mnemba Atoll coral reef system on the northern side of Unguja Island, Zanzibar has deteriorated significantly over the past 2 decades, with coral cover now down to 5%. The damage to the reef is due to a combination of factors relating to the tourism and fishing sectors, including poor placement of anchors, fin and handling damage by snorkellers, and indiscriminate fishing.
The loss of this system will not only devastate the marine biodiversity in the area through the reduction of habitat for many marine species, but will also devastate local livelihoods, with hundreds of local boat owners increasingly dependent on the tourism income they generate from taking tourists to this reef system, and also a decline in fishery stocks for the local fishing industry, which leads to a loss of income and pressure for more harmful and extreme fishing practices.
This project aims to support the restoration and community-based conservation of the coral reefs associated with Mnemba Island through the establishment of a community coral nursery programme. Tusk support will address the degradation of the Mnemba House Reef through the expansion of a coral reef nursery and the resultant transplantation of upto 420 coral pieces per month from the coral reef nursery to the Atoll. Furthermore the grant will address the protection of the Mnemba House Reef through the delivery of an education programme for fishers and local boatmen, sharing knowledge on why and how the reefs can be protected.