Thamani wa Nguva (The Value of Mermaids), aims to create an enabling environment for dugong and seagrass conservation in the Rufiji Delta area of Tanzania.

Focusing on eight villages (total population of 17,012) in the southern Rufiji Delta, this project will raise public awareness and address knowledge and capacity gaps at three tiers of the governance chain: national- and district-level decision makers, community fisheries managers, and local youth groups.

Project NameThamani wa Nguva
Implementing AgencySea Sense
Project DurationNovember 2021 - April 2023
Project LocationSouthern Rufiji Delta, Tanzania
Total Implementation CostUSD 24,983
CMS Dugong MOU ContributionUSD 24,983
Project PartnersKibiti & Kilwa District Fisheries Offices

CMS Dugong MOU National Focal Point - Tanzania


Wetlands International

The eight project communities have shared responsibility for a Locally Managed Marine Area, known as ‘Nyamanjisopoja‘. This is referred to as a Collaborative Fisheries Management Area (CFMA), which has its own management plan incorporating actions to conserve marine resources and priority fisheries as identified by village governments and community fisheries managers, known as Beach Management Units (BMUs).

The project will carry out the following activities:

  • Raising awareness on the dugong as a flagship species and the importance of seagrass by i) highlighting dugong presence as an indicator of ocean health, and ii) the role of seagrass ecosystems in supporting fisheries-based livelihoods and supporting human health and wellbeing.
    This activity will incorporate a school education campaign and a community-wide event in celebration of World Dugong Day (28th May 2022). Participatory communication methods (i.e., drama, song, and art) created by community groups will ensure accessibility to all sectors of the community, including marginalized groups such as women and youth.
  • Building capacity of community fisheries managers for dugong and seagrass conservation. BMU members and village governments from each village represented in the CFMA will participate in training sessions to: i) identify key fisheries management actions that benefit seagrass habitats, ii) explain national policy and legislative frameworks relevant to dugongs and other endangered marine species, and iii) review the existing CFMA management plans and village by-laws in relation to these frameworks and, if required, advocate for amendments during the engagement process.
  • Engaging and sensitizing local and national decision makers on the value of seagrass ecosystem services, through meetings with representatives of the national government (Ministry of Regional and Local Government) and local government (Kibiti District and Kilwa District Council Management Teams) to: i) showcase community level efforts to protect critical marine habitats and associated ecosystem services, and ii) advocate for an evidence-based review of the regulatory frameworks that impact seagrass ecosystems, such as the Fisheries Act and Regulations (2003) and the Marine Parks and Reserves Act, which are both under review during the project lifetime.