Regional Workshop on

Enforcement and Compliance

Enforcement and Compliance as a Mechanism to Safeguard Small-scale Fisheries and Biodiversity

The regional workshop on ‘Enforcement and Compliance as a mechanism to safeguard Small Scale Fisheries and Biodiversity for improved livelihoods’ was held at Four Point by Sheraton, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from the 17th to 18th April 2023. The workshop brought together 45 participants, including representatives from government, community, and NGOs from Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Comoros.

Participant expectations included:

  • Exchanging experiences and best practices from different countries,
  • Networking and building relationships with other partners,
  • Gaining knowledge on conservation and building partnerships,
  • Collaborating between government, community, and non-government organizations,
  • Sharing and learning knowledge for the advancement of marine conservation,
  • Participating and exploring experiences on Small Scale Fisheries,
  • Sharing excellent work done by communities as well as the challenges and learning how to address them,
  • Sharing experiences on how to improve compliance, coming up with strategies on how Small-Scale Fisheries can be integrated into the Blue Economy,
  • Learning more about conservation and how communities can benefit more and improve their livelihood,
  • Participating actively, contributing ideas on how to improve compliance and enforcement,
  • Familiarizing themselves with how other countries are working on compliance and enforcement so that they can improve on it,
  • Learning mechanisms that are working from other countries, and
  • Digging into their minds and coming up with innovative and new ideas.

Country Contexts

Country-specific presentations of the enforcement and compliance in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) biodiversity revealed multiple overlaps. The increasing role of Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs) across the region was well-noted, community interest in marine conservation identified as a driving force. It was, however, reported that corresponding ecological and social transformation was yet to be realized.

Kenya and Tanzania laid out their three enforcement and compliance systems, a first involving a top-down approach (the authoritative system), a second calling for the inverse (a participatory system) and a third (an emerging hybrid system) invoking fisheries co-management. In Mozambique, the duplication of roles, between the ministries of Environment and Fisheries, was raised as a problem area in its regulatory framework. Madagascar presented an elaborate regulatory scheme involving multiple government departments and agencies, and community members. Comoros also highlighted their legal and institutional frameworks, admitting to management gaps they were actively working to address. Zanzibar, comprising five marine conservation areas, also made an elaborate presentation of their small-scale fishery enforcement and compliance framework (see below).  

Discussions identified four key drivers of poor enforcement and compliance:

  1. Lack of awareness
  2. Social and cultural ties
  3. Corruption 
  4. Lack of synergy 
Zanzibar's enforcement and compliance framework (Credit: Said Shaib, Tumbatu Marine Conservation Area)

Summary recommendations for improved enforcement and compliance:

  1. Enhance the coordination and effectiveness of the enforcement linkages.
    • This is between government and BMU. Everyone knows there is need for collaboration, but no one wants it.
    • Also, its on harmonization of departments e.g., Different departments give different licences.
  2. Develop an apt funding system and plan for enforcement that would enhance compliance.
  3. Train judiciary on fisheries matters to enhance informed and fair judgement process.
  4. Continuous capacity building of BMU’s and small-scale fisher associations to enhance understanding of their role and responsibilities in fisheries governance and management.
  5. Redefine fisheries co-management to incorporate local and/or traditional leadership to play a role in enforcement decision making and implementation.
  6. Promote and support the establishment of LMMAs to enhance better understanding on the purpose of fisheries regulation for sustainability of fisheries resources.

Participants will now retreat to put together their country-contextual policy and technical recommendations, ahead of the development of corresponding policy briefs.

The full workshop report can be found here.