project news

Respect the Transect

News item submitted by Ben Margerison
News item dated 25 Nov 2010

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Recent news from the Frontier marine team based on Mafia Island, just off of the Tanzanian coast has been very encouraging. The team have recently been carrying out commercial fish surveys within Mafia Island Marine Park (MIMP), located off of the southern coast of the Island. So far, they have managed to collect data on the health of commercial fish populations within the MPA from approximately one hundred surveys in multiple transects throughout the region.

This is a fantastic achievement, and one that will help ensure a high level of accuracy in terms of reflecting the true health of fish populations in the region. Previous Frontier surveys in the region have shown that in general, marine organisms within the MIMP boundaries benefit greatly from inhabiting a protected area, and the park supports greater populations of fish and a greater coverage of healthy coral than in many of the surrounding unprotected areas. There is also a level of overspill of marine populations from the park into the surrounding areas, a very positive side effect of maintaining a well managed marine protected area.

Diver surrounded by fish in Tanzanian waters

The team has also recently had the opportunity to get up close to a rather shy whale shark found swimming in the waters off of the west coast of Mafia Island, and it would also seem that turtle season is upon us, as lots of green and hawksbill turtles have been spotted in the region, gracefully going about their business.


Find out more about the Tanzania Marine project.