Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Union of Comoros
United Nations Development Programme

The Union of Comoros is characterized by the presence of varied ecosystems and natural resources rich in species diversity and endemism. There are at least four ecosystems: (i) a coastal ecosystem (mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs), (ii) a shrub-savanna ecosystem type, (iii) a forest ecosystem type, and (iv) wetland ecosystem type such as Lake Dzialandzé (Anjouan), Lake Dziani boudouni (Moheli) and salt Lake (Grande Comore). Variability of climate, geomorphology, geology and soils contributes to habitat diversity, diversity of flora and fauna including many endemic, threatened and migratory species, such as sea turtles, whales, dolphins, lemur and dugong, sea cucumbers, among others. The Comoros is also a nature sanctuary for species such as Livingstone bats and the coelacanth.


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Kenya
United Nations Development Programme

Kenya has the some of the oldest marine protected areas in the WIO Region. There are 4 marine parks and 5 marine national reserves. The total area of the parks is estimated at 54 km2, while that of reserves is 898 km2 representing approximately 8.7% of the Kenyan territorial waters. In addition, there are a number of community protected areas located in Wasini, Kuruwitu, Bureni, Trade-Winds, Kibuyuni and Kiweni. However, conflicts have been observed in these protected areas particularly where local fishing communities harbour negative attitudes towards establishing new government managed MPAs, creating an impediment to government commitment to increase MPA coverage. Local resource users are still concerned about being denied access and control over the resources in marine parks and reserves.
Environmental degradation and over-exploitation of natural resources are challenges that Kenya is facing with regard to the management of coastal and marine environment. In the small-scale fishery, the use of destructive fishing techniques, poverty and rapid population growth all continue to strain resources on the coast. Also, lack of capacity for effective management and enforcement of regulations is constraining sustainable management of the coastal region. There are however strengths and opportunities that can be utilized to promote sustainable management and development in Kenya’s coastal region. There are a number of opportunities that have the potential to generate alternative forms of employment, which could potentially reduce the strain being placed on coastal ecosystems. Creating alternative streams of income could reduce pressure on the marine ecosystems and counter the cyclical relationship between poverty and natural resource exploitation.


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA)- Madagascar
United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme

Madagascar has valuable living marine resources. Among the 123 species of sharks and rays present in Madagascar, 31 are classified by IUCN as threatened, 1 is endangered (the skate Rostroraja alba), 17 are vulnerable (the whale shark and endemic skate Dipturus crosnieri) and 10 are near threatened. All three species of sawfishes are classified as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List and in Appendix I of CITES. Today, sawfishes are very rare, probably due to shrimp trawling, use of gill nets across rivers and installation of fish barriers in estuaries. Approximately 50 species of sharks and rays of neritic and oceanic deep waters of Madagascar are affected by the industrial tuna fishery (longline and seine fishing), industrial fisheries, industrial shrimp fishery, artisanal and traditional fisheries. Due to their slow reproductive rates, Chondrichthyes are very vulnerable to overexploitation.


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA)- Mauritius
United Nations Development Programme

Mauritius is one of the Western Indian Ocean states being impacted by global climate change. Mauritius has experienced a very slow fall in sea level (- 0.10 mm/yr) from 1986 to 2003. In Rodrigues, sea level has declined at a rate of - 0.32 mm/yr during the same period. However, during the last few years an accelerated sea level rise at a rate of between 1.2 and 3mm/yr has been observed. This is a matter of serious concern since it has led to the intensification of coastal erosion leading to destruction of coastal infrastructure and settlement. The continuing sea level rise is expected to worsen the problem of coastal erosion which is being accelerated due to ill-planned and ill-designed coastal development. Hard engineering approaches (e.g. construction of sea walls
and groynes) for controlling coastal erosion have not been successful in Mauritius. The main critical ecosystems include mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs.


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Mozambique
United Nations Development Programme

The Mozambique Channel is an important source region for the Agulhas Current which is one of the major western boundary currents flowing along the southeastern coast of South Africa. The Mozambique Channel is also one of the two routes through which the South Equatorial Current feeds the Agulhas Current. Mozambique also has an extensive drainage network that includes about 100 principal river basins and a number of international rivers. The international rivers include the Rovuma, Zambezi, Save, Limpopo and Incomati Rivers. The runoff entering Mozambique through international rivers has decreased over the years due to damming, water abstraction and irrigation in neighbouring countries. There has also been modification of stream flow leading to either freshwater shortage/reduction or excessive runoff in certain periods of the year. The rivers are main sources of sediments and dissolved inorganic nutrients in coastal zones of Mozambique. The Sofala Bank – one of the most productive shelf regions in Mozambique, is influenced by the discharges from Zambezi, Pungué, Buzí and Save rivers. The highest nutrient concentrations occur in the Angoche shelf
area in the north, Sofala Bank in central and Delagoa Bight in the southern shelf.


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA)- Seychelles
United Nations Development Programme

The Seychelles economy is dependent on tourism and fisheries. The fishery sector has three main components, namely the artisanal fishery, semi-industrial fishery and industrial fisheries. In 2008, the total catch from the artisanal fishery was 4,777 tonnes. The major species groups targeted are Carangidae, Lutjanidae, Lethrinidae and Serranidae. The industrial component of the Seychelles fishing sector is made up of the foreign owned purse seiners and industrial distant waters longliners with license to operate in the Seychelles EEZ. The industrial fishers target mainly tuna and tuna like species. The semi-industrial fishery comprises of the monofilament longline fishery and major species targeted are swordfish (Xiphias gladius) averaging 60%, yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) 20% and big eye tuna (Thunnus obesus) 20%. The estimated catch by the semi-industrial fleet is around 233 tonnes of which 98 tonnes were swordfish, followed by 59 tonnes of big eye tuna and 44 tonnes of yellowfin tuna. The small-scale fisheries, which includes the artisanal, contributes between 1% and 2% to GDP annually, while the fisheries sector as a whole contributes 7.7% of the GDP


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Somalia
United Nations Development Programme

The coast of Somalia has fringing coral reefs in the Bajuni Archipelago and patches of coral reefs along the Gulf of Aden coastline. The types of corals include Porites, Acropora and Stylophora pistillata. Others include Millepora, soft corals, Rhodactis rhodostoma, Pocillopora damicornis, Galaxea astreata, Goniastrea retiformis, Lobophyllia sp, Tubastrea micranthus and T. Aurea. Coral reefs are widely distributed along the Indian Ocean coastline between Adale and the Somalia-Kenya border. Coral communities are well developed consisting of 27 genera and 63 species. The main threats to coral reefs are the use of destructive fishing practices, over-fishing, global warming, and smothering due to sedimentation and pollution. Somalia has six mangrove species. A large segment of the population of Somalia is involved in artisanal and subsistence fishing either directly or indirectly. Deepwater fisheries are fished by distant fishing fleets from Europe and East Asia. It is estimated that the fisheries sector contributes more than 2% of GDP. However, high exploitation and the use of destructive fishing gear such as dynamite, seine nets, poisons and selective fishing on certain species and juveniles are threatening fisheries in the Somali coastal and marine waters.


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Reports and Books
National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - South Africa
United Nations Development Programme

South Africa has an extensive coastline in the southern section of Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ASCLME) region, with the coastal provinces of KwaZulu Natal (KZN), Eastern Cape and Western Cape forming the seaboard. The South African Heritage Resources Agency is charged with the protection and management of South African heritage. Places of special national significance must be identified, while structures older than 60 years as well as archaeological, palaeontological and meteorite impact sites, and public monuments and memorials may not be destroyed, altered or disturbed without a permit. Over 2,700 vessels are known to have been lost along the South African coast since 1500, while there are a number of archaeological sites relating to early African agricultural groups settling in the subcontinent as well as colonial conflicts.


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Project documents, Reports and Books
Project Document: Programme for the Agulhas & Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems - Agulhas & Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems Project
United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility

The Agulhas Current Large Marine Ecosystem (ACLME) stretches from the north end of the Mozambique Channel to Cape Agulhas and is characterized by the swift, warm Agulhas current, a western boundary current that forms part of the anticyclonic Indian Ocean gyre. The Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem (SCLME) extends from the Comoros Islands and the northern tip of Madagascar up to the Horn of Africa. It is characterized by the monsoon-dominated Somali current, which has a strong, northerly flow during the summer, but reverses its flow in the winter. These two LMEs are both complex and interactive, and are strongly influenced by the South Equatorial Current, which is funneled across the Mascarene Plateau east of Madagascar before diverging north and south to become components of the Agulhas and Somali Currents. The LMEs are primarily defined by their bathymetry, hydrography, productivity and biota. They are characterized by a dynamic system of ocean currents and upwelling cells, which regulate climate and influence weather patterns, sea temperatures, water chemistry, productivity, biodiversity and fisheries. They also represent an important repository of living marine resources, which underpin the livelihoods of coastal communities in 10 countries and territories.


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Project documents
Project Proposal Document: Toward an Ecosystem Approach for Sustaining the Agulhas and Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystems
United Nations Development Programme, Global Environment Facility

This Project is one of three, perhaps four individual Projects, involving each of the GEF Implementing Agencies, in the same geographic area with worked that is linked so that a programmatic approach is developed to conserve the living resources of these two systems and their habitat. Such an approach and program is consistent with and supports WSSD, LME based targets of achieving an ecosystem approach by 2010 and a sustainable fisheries regime by 2015. Each of the projects within the programmatic approach will complement programs aimed at poverty reduction, sustainable livelihoods and food security targets, as well as addressing issues pertinent to SIDS. This new approach constitutes a test or pilot in the focal area, with this Concept being the third in a series of related Concepts representing the application of lessons learned in the BCLME to the A&S LMEs, where there exists significantly less understanding and management capacity. This Concept, as well as the overall Program also is consistent with the Barbados Plan of Action for SIDS, and could be highlighted as part of the planned Barbados Plus Ten international conference scheduled to be held in Mauritius in September, 2004.


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