Bazaruto Dugong Protection Project

The Bazaruto Archipelago National Park scouts have been hard at work this year protecting marine resources and preventing poaching in the Park. Marine patrols from June to the end of August covered 5581.68km, responded to 36 illegal activities and confiscated 316 items of illegal equipment including fishing dhows, spear guns and nets. 51kg of illegally harvested marine resources was seized and no gill nets have been observed since April. In response to the two recent Dugong deaths, the Project launched an immediate sensitization programme to promote the use of traditional fishing techniques that prevent Dugong entanglement in nets. Revised night-fishing regulations were also discussed with all Community Fishing Associations and were put into effect as of 15 April 2015. Never a dull moment in Bazaruto – in May, scouts were threatened by a crew of four sea cucumber divers. When asked to hand over their illegal harvest, the divers prepared a petrol bomb and were about to throw
this at the scouts. The crew was summoned to Vilanculos Police station and underwent a 3 hour trial. The penalties issued were a 10,000 Mzn fine, lashings and 4 days of imprisonment! On the lighter side, Karen was invited by the Government of Mozambique to present Bazaruto’s Marine Law Enforcement successes at a Marine Protected Area (MPA) workshop on 23 June. The Workshop was convened in order to identify research and monitoring priorities in Mozambique’s MPAs. The potential for cross-learning between MPAs is an exciting opportunity we are very keen to explore further in future. On the cards for the rest of the year and into 2016 is the start of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Dugongs and Seagrass Programme, where EWT is a country partner together with the Ministry for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs (MICOA), and Blue Ventures. We look forward to working closely with all country partners as well as learning from our colleagues focussing on dugong conservation around the world.
WWF-Southern African Sustainable Seafood


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