Sustainable Oceans, Livelihoods and food Security Through Increased Capacity in Ecosystem research in the Western Indian Ocean (SOLSTICE)

SOLSTICE-WIO is a four-year project funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The project addresses three sustainable development challenges facing developing countries:
Secure and resilient food systems
Resilience and action on short-term environmental shocks and long-term environmental change
Reduction in poverty and inequality

Understanding and managing WIO fisheries and the impacts of changes on its people requires that WIO states have a mature capacity to implement the ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAF). Critical roadblocks to achieving this include relatively low levels of scientific capacity, inadequate monitoring programmes, and a poor integration of basic science into fisheries policies and management practices. SOLSTICE-WIO will work with the key academic, NGO, industrial and governmental stakeholders in the WIO region to achieve the step change required to enable WIO communities to apply an EAF.

SOLSTICE will help WIO communities unlock their potential and apply three key low cost technologies (numerical models, satellites and autonomous robotic technologies), which can cheaply and efficiently deliver near real-time environmental data. The project will develop the WIO capability to access, control, use and interpret the data from these platforms, thereby achieving a step change in the local ability to manage and optimally exploit local fisheries.

SOLSTICE-WIO will address each of these issues through:

1. Growing people-based marine research capability in WIO countries in a cost-effective way via state-of-the-art technology transfer, collaborative research and hands-on training;
2. Strengthening capacity of UK marine scientists to apply leading-edge technologies in developing countries;
3. Improving the ability of WIO scientists to effectively transfer scientific data into WIO policy processes at national and regional levels; and
4. Offering ongoing support via building lasting strategic research partnerships between UK marine science, regional centres of excellence, NGOs and government agencies in the WIO.

 Project site

Status of Implementation

Earlier discussions were held on 16th June 2017 in CORDIO’s office in Mombasa between David Obura, Kennedy Osuka, Katya Popova, Mike Roberts and Margaux Noyon to scope out the activities of the project and discuss CORDIO contributions, as inputs to the SOLSTICE project inception meeting in Zanzibar, which was later held on 20th July 2017.

CORDIO through Kennedy Osuka participated in the SOLSTICE kick-off meeting at the WIOMSA Symposium in Dar es Salaam on 28- 29th October 2017. This included discussing the sharing of CORDIO’s Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) data collected in 2017 from Tanga, Pemba Channel, through another project (FinPrint).

A planning meeting was held on 25th January 2018 in Southampton at NOC between CORDIO, NOC, NMU and PML team members to discuss details and agree on implementation of CORDIO’s tasks, in particular field activities, and the Agreement between NOC and CORDIO was revised accordingly identifying specific deliverable within each of the four work packages