In the East African coastline and in particular Kenya and Tanzania, regulation and use of marine resources is characterized by ineffective controls with regards to exploitation; uncoordinated approach in deriving and implementing management strategies; weak marine resource management at local levels; and poorly designed and incoherent regulations.
Established a workable model for fisheries co-management in Kenya and beyond.
Given the embryonic nature of community-led marine conservation in Africa, simply establishing several working examples of the CCA concept that are functional, representative of coastal communities, and resilient to change is a major success. In a peer-reviewed study of the progress of 19 Kenyan CCAs established in the last two decades, only four CCAs were deemed to have reached the final and most advanced phase in becoming fully established and functional. Three of these four most successful CCAs were designated by communities which FFI and EAWLS have worked with (Kuruwitu, Kibuyuni and Wasini).
There is some evidence that the southern Kenyan BMU/CCA model is performing comparably to other, similar global models. An independent project analysis of FFI and EAWLS’s work concluded that the model of BMUs as local regulating bodies, responsible for delivering CCAs as participatory, community-led areas of sustainable marine resource use is a robust example of fisheries co-management, with potential application to other nations beyond Kenya.
There isl evidence to suggest local people in these ten communities have perceived various benefits from the implementation of CCAs. Assessments across ten CCAs suggest that communities have: greater influence over marine resource use since the designation of the CCAs; reported improved infrastructure, such as board walks; reported reductions in the use of illegal fishing gear and an increase in fish biomass in one CCA (Kibuyuni).
Evidence of marine habitat and species recovery
There is some biological evidence that marine species and habitats are healthier inside CCAs than outside them. Ecological analysis of the ten CCAs has revealed that, since designation, several sites are exhibiting higher coral cover and diversity than control sites outside of CCAs and one site (Kibuyuni) is exhibiting some of the highest fish biomass measurements of any protected marine site in southern Kenya.