Tanzania / SSF Workshop

Tackling a Dilemma

Follow-up activities, led by fisheries officials and fisher representatives, have begun in Tanzania on how to carry forward the process of implementing the FAO SSF Guidelines

This report is by Ali Thani (alythani@mwambao.or.tz ) and Lorna Slade (lornaslade@mwambao.or.tz) of Mwambao Coastal Community Network, Tanzania

From September 2016, a team of the Mwambao Coastal Community Network, Tanzania, in collaboration with the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), carried out a series of follow-up activities in the wake of the introductory awareness-raising workshop on the FAO SSF Guidelines. The follow-on activities include two main events plus an initial Mwambao/ICSF facilitators’ planning meeting. The main activities included a district facilitators planning workshop, conducted in Bagamoyo, Tanzania, where 20 participants were invited, including districts and HQ fisheries officers, and two fisher representatives from selected pilot villages as the facilitators in the respective villages. The workshop was followed up by a visit by Mwambao facilitators to assess the progress of the prepared plans in three district villages.

The planning workshop came up with the action plan based on the activities of selected priorities from the SSF Guidelines. The planned follow-on activities include a series of specific actions to establish a fishers’ umbrella association, promoted for the establishment and strengthen of village savings and loans (VSL) groups and preparation of a communication strategy for disaster management.

A second activity was a follow-up visit by Mwambao facilitators, at the end of September, to assess the progress of the implementation of the action plan within the selected pilot villages.

The following are the results of the implementation of the SSF Guidelines action plan for the pilot areas:

  • Establishment of an umbrella fishers association in MOANdumbaniTanga, to which office bearers were selected, including a chairperson, a secretary, an accountant and a committee of 15 for disaster management.
  • A series of successful individual fishermen’s group meetings were conducted in three individual villages in Somanga in Kilwa, where it was agreed to set up the umbrella fishers association three days after the follow-up visit. It was reported that the association has already been established, incorporating all the office bearers.
  • In Kigamboni feedback meetings and awareness raising was carried out in three sub-villages of Kimbiji. Other joint sub-village meetings will be conducted later to help form the umbrella fishermen’s association.

Resources needed

A major challenge is on the way forward for the implementation of the SSF Guidelines. Although ICSF has supported awareness-raising of the SSF Guidelines among fishers in Tanzania, a dilemma exists among the facilitators, specifically the implementation point of view. Great resources are needed in connection with broad planning at the national level and multi-stakeholder involvement in order to ensure effective implementation.

There is reluctance among some fishersespecially illegal fishersto join the association as they consider this initiative will prevent them from continuing with illegal fishing. A national-level strategy is required to be formulated, in collaboration with local management institutions (beach management units), to address this issue.

Mwambao and its partners aim to place these lessons and challenges on the table and discuss with its partners strategies and potential solutions for future implementation of the SSF Guidelines.

For more

SSF Guidelines