The project goal was to create an improved understanding of marine and freshwater capture and enhancement fisheries and their contribution to the livelihoods of the poor developed and promoted. The purpose of the project was to test the mechanisms for implementing successful FAD Programmes in East Africa and for communicating that success to relevant stakeholders.
The project started in September 2003 and can be divided in five main phases:
• Site surveys;
• Importation of FAD equipment (twice);
• FAD construction and deployment (twice);
• FAD monitoring; and,
• Offshore fisheries training.
Following delayed but successful importation of all the necessary equipment from Korea, the third phase suffered a set-back due to problems with the original FAD design. The effective delay of one year for a second deployment and project end in October 2005 meant that in the bulk of the outputs and activities were restricted to a period of seven months.
The design failure, requirements and preparations for a second deployment forced a number of adjustments to the project for its continuation. The second importation of equipment and a nocost extension of the project was needed. As a result, investigations into socio-economic and marketing issues were largely irrelevant since these components rely on the successful use of the FAD and associated gears for a considerable time period, at least a few months, for comparison with existing gears and practices. All efforts were then focused on re-design, importation of equipment for three new FADs and re-deployment. Immediately following deployment, monitoring of FAD performance as the wind and sea conditions increased into the SE Monsoon season became an important activity.
Within this much reduced project life numerous outputs of the project were nevertheless achieved. These included bathymetric data gathered from three sites at two locations, fisheries data gathered from Nungwi on Zanzibar and from bottom catches at Mafia, FAD design and deployment procedures, and practical training knowledge of fishing gear and a series of diverse communication outputs.
In terms of the project's contribution towards DfID's development goals, progress has been made on a number of fronts. Firstly, poor fishers on Mafia Island and Zanzibar have been shown and encouraged to venture further offshore, between 4-6 miles from the fringing coral reefs, to fish around six FADs, the latter representing new technology. At these two offshore locations fish were caught despite the adverse weather conditions during fishing training. Secondly, poor fishers have been instructed and have proven their ability in the use of new technology in the way of braid-line for hand-ling fishing in deepwater and, more significantly the use of circle hooks. Thirdly, fisheries officers from the participating institutions of Mbegani Fisheries Development Centre, the Zanzibar Government Fisheries Department, and staff the Mafia Islands Marine Park have been actively involved in the main phases of the project and are now in a position to independently develop FAD Programmes. Two local vessels were used for FAD deployment (from a Government training institution and the private sector) thus further widening the promotion uptake options for local stakeholders.
Despite delays caused by FAD design alterations and adverse weather conditions, experiences gained from the two deployments and limited fishing and FAD monitoring at the two sites nevertheless provided valuable lessons and insights into the offshore fishery for large pelagic species and deep-water benthic species. Skills within the national fisheries institutions (Mbegani Fisheries Development Centre (MFDC) and Department of Fisheries and Marine Resources (DFMR) (Zanzibar)) were also diversified and improved through experience gained from involvement with the project, firstly through direct involvement with FAD construction and deployment and secondly from sourcing of bait, testing fishing gears, obtaining fuel, arrangements with fishers and numerous other aspects of the trials.
In terms of wider national and international promotion of FAD fisheries, the project contributed a section to the SADC-EU MCS Programme's (Tanzania Office) Fisheries Observer Handbook (SADC-EU MCS, 2005) and also to a FADs Theme sheet to IUCN's Managing Marine Protected Areas - A Toolkit for the Western Indian Ocean (IUCN, 2004).
Without conclusive results on FAD performance and increase fish yields, adoption cannot be expected. Nevertheless, the project has introduced a wide variety of stakeholders to the concept and potential of deep-sea FAD fisheries, previously tried (unsuccessfully) in Tanzania in 1984. These include poor people (fishers) but also institutions supplying services to the poor (national and district government; national research institutions and NGOs), employers of the poor (fishing and processing companies) and policy-makers (national governments). The project has been able to demonstrate some of the technical requirements for fishing around FADs and this has encouraged at least two NGOs and a successful commercial company to further investigate the potential of investing in FADs beyond the life of R8331.
The potential for uptake can only follow successful trials with yields greater than that of other fisheries. Only when trials (either externally-supported or independently and locally-driven) show the improved catchability and yield of pelagic species associated with FADs, can there be a measurable uptake.
Samaki Consultants. Promoting livelihood benefits from Fish Aggregation Devices. Final Technical Report. Samaki Consultants, Uganda. (2005)