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Creating Sustainable Community Fisheries in Coastal East Africa

In the spring of 2007, WWF helped establish no-take zones and beach management units (BMUs) for sustainable community fisheries within and outside of Kenya's Kiunga Marine National Reserve in the Lamu district. To date, 15 zones have been established within the reserve and six outside of the reserve. The zones are implemented and designed by local communities and are used for monitoring and research. BMUs established in the area enforce fisheries management and issue licenses to fishermen. They also increase empowerment and local resource ownership within the communities. There are six BMUs now in a pilot phase. These are the first steps towards scaling up the Lamu Archipelago as the second seascape program for Coastal East Africa.

The seascape program is an eco-regional approach to sustainable nature resources management and biodiversity conservation. WWF recognizes the need to look beyond protected areas and take into account the geographic, social and economic context of the region. Through development of sustainable, collaborative and equitable management, WWF is improving the socio-economic well-being of coastal communities and protecting coastal and marine natural resources.