Traditional knowledge in the management of coastal and marine resources in Tanzania: with emphasis on fisheries resources

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
Monitoring of fisheries resources and contemporary rules for coastal and marine resource management in Tanzania has been challenged for their inadequacy. While searching for management models that work, it is worthwhile to consider the knowledge that enabled traditional communities to sustainably live with their environment for centuries. This study investigated the role of traditional knowledge in the management of coastal and marine resources in rural and urban coastal communities of Tanzania. Interview schedules. field observations, focused group discussions. and a review of literature were used to gather data. Descriptive statistics, Chi square and Contingency Coefficient tests were used to analyze data. The study found that fish catch assessments can be inferred from Fishers' knowledge. Local fishers reveal that at the present time common fish catches have been significantly over-exploited in urban areas compared to many areas based on their sizes and quantities. Some common fish catches such as Caranx spp. are most vulnerable to fishing pressure while others such as Chanos chanos were consistently reported to miss in the catch. Moreover. traditional management practices in the study areas are dominated by taboos and customs, but compliance ta many of these practices were found to decrease with time, especially in urban areas due to rapid socio-economic changes: This tends to contribute to more degradation of coastal and marine resources, including tabooed fish species such as manta rays that are globally recognized as threatened. Also, knowledge of some traditional fishing methods are at a risk of disappearing in urban areas albeit the mode of knowledge transmission is the same for both areas (p= 0.078). Since trasmission of traditional fishing knowledge occurs at average ages of 12- 17 years for rural and 12 -22 years for urban communities, there is potential for the incorporation of this knowledge at least into primary school education where majority of coastal people ended. This study suggests actions to protect traditional knowledge to ensure sustainable conservation of coastal and marine resources in Tanzania. Local communities, scientists and managers need to work together to amalgamate the best practices of traditional knowledge and scientific facts to reduce both the cost of monitoring and management and achieve public acceptance.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF SH328.T34S52)
marine, Traditional, Fisheries management, Marine resources conservation, Marine resources, coastal communities, Tanzania
Shalli, M.S.(2011) Traditional knowledge in the management of coastal and marine resources in Tanzania: with emphasis on fisheries resources. Master dissertation, university of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.