Access of vulnerable community members to income generating bivalve aquaculture in northern Mozambique.

Maida Lobo
Publié: 26 septembre 2023
Dernière modification: 26 septembre 2023
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Mozambique is located within the West Indian Ocean and has a coastline of about 2,700 kilometres, composed of sand dunes, remarkable mangrove forests and exceptional coral reefs. It is highly biodiverse and is home to endangered species such as dugongs, sea turtles, dolphins, rays, coral reef fish and sharks.


However, it is exposed to the effects of overfishing and climate change, with cyclones and floods increasing in frequency and intensity, which are significantly degrading coastal ecosystems and reducing marine resources.


The project Our Sea, Our Life (OSOL), aims to strengthen the engagement of communities in the co-management of marine areas in Mozambique. The project also aims to improve the food security and well-being of local communities who are highly dependent on marine resources.


With funding from BIOPAMA, OSOL identified successes and challenges faced by the Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) in Bandar, in terms of governance and performance, using the SAGE and IMET methodologies.


Afrique de l'Est et du Sud
Ampleur de la mise en œuvre
Récif corallien
Écosystèmes marins et côtiers
Atténuation du changement climatique
Financement durable
Fragmentation et la dégradtion de l'habitat
Gouvernance des Aires protégées et conservées
Gestion des risques urbains et de catastrophes
Urban poverty and housing
Montée du niveau des mers
Cyclones tropicaux / typhons
Récolte non durable, y compris la surpêche
Chômage / pauvreté
Objectifs de développement durable
ODD 1 - Pas de pauvreté
ODD 5 - Égalité entre les sexes
ODD 14 - Vie aquatique
Objectifs d’Aichi
Objectif 15: Restauration et la résilience des écosystèmes


Bandar, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique


Socio-economic Challenges

Marine resources provide vital income and food security for vulnerable coastal communities in Northern Mozambique. The province’s inhabitants are among the poorest in Mozambique – over 50% live below the poverty line, and over 80% of people participating in fishing activities with minimal access to other livelihoods. This dependency means high vulnerability to environmental and socioeconomic shocks. This area has also faced intensive migration as thousands have fled unrest in northern Cabo Delgado since 2017.


Biological Challenges

High dependency on natural resources results in mangrove and coral reef degradation from destructive livelihoods (salt ponds, mangrove wood cutting) and unsustainable fishing practices (night and neap tide fishing, destructive fishing gears), alongside natural gas exploitation. Mozambique also suffers extreme natural events like storms and cyclones (exacerbated by climate change), leading to siltation and destruction of marine ecosystems.


- Community members.

- District, Provincial and National Government - we assist in the implementing activities that the government struggles to due to insufficient funds.

- National and foreign universities - spaces for internships and research work.

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

The community focus groups must be well engaged through regular community consultations to address LMMA governance issues and improve LMMA performance. The organization facilitating the focus group meetings should maintain a coherent approach throughout the consultation work with communities to gain trust, incentivize genuine engagement of the community members and resulting in a strong sense of commitment by the community members.


Socio-economic Impacts:

Of the 42 loans allowed in VSLAs (Village Savings and Loans Associations) in the first half of 2023, 25,000.00 MZN was invested in small-scale businesses; 7,000.00 MZN in agriculture; 6,500.00MNZ was used in construction and home improvements. Out of the VSLA savings 49,140.00MZN was spent on building and improving their homes; 33,340.00 MZN in small businesses; 27,090.00 MZN in basic necessities (clothes and food); and 25,900.00 MZN in mattresses.  80% of the VSLAs members are women which make VSLAs very strong tools to empower women socio-economically resulting in their higher engagement in the governance of marine resources, therefore improving the equitable management of marine resources by the Community Fisheries Councils (CCPs).


Biological Impacts:

Community members have reduced dependence on marine resources through increased access to alternative sustainable livelihoods (bivalve aquaculture), also acting as an alternative protein source. This facilitates increased compliance with LMMA regulations such as respecting no-take zones and temporary closures, preventing overharvesting and allowing fish stocks to recover.



Mario Amine Daide

In the 1990s most men and women worked in the cotton and sisal factories; hence the number of fishers was small. There was also little variety in fishing gear, and few buyers. From the year 2000, the factories were closed and with the closure of the factories, came high unemployment, and in response, an increase in the number of fishers.

By 2010, the fishing activity intensified; fishermen of all ages appeared (some coming from Tanzania and Nampula Province) and local market and buyers from other communities and foreigners increased. However, with this development, also came destructive fishing practices. Migrant fishermen were fishing at night using petromax, breaking coral reefs to catch the species hidden in the rocks, and using very fine mesh nets that resemble mosquito nets.

The idea of establishing the locally managed marine areas came from the community itself, having watched through radio and television the opening of the other protected areas in other locations. They were also becoming increasingly aware of the reduction in catches over time. Before the arrival of AMA, there were many attempts to establish the protection zones, but they did not work because of lack of funding and methodology for their success. With the arrival of AMA, they could provide the support to ultimately increase the population of fish and motivate the local community to apply conservation measures.

Currently, the Bandar LMMA in the north of Mozambique is a reference at Mozambican level.

Contribué par

Portrait de jeremy.huet_43228

Jeremy Huet Zoological Society of London (ZSL)