National Marine Ecosystem Diagnostic Analysis (MEDA) - Tanzania

United Nations Development Programme (2012)

The majority of the coastal communities rely on coastal resources for their livelihood. The coast is of immense strategic importance to many social and economic sectors such as shipping, fishing, tourism, trade, agriculture, settlements and industrial developments. Recently, Tanzania has experienced a significant increase in coastal tourism, mariculture development and natural gas exploitation. Livelihood opportunities for people living along the Tanzanian coastline are changing; coastal areas are experiencing rapidly expanding population, putting increasing pressure on limited resources. As farming employment optiosn decline as a result of lack of financial assistance in the agricultural sector, more people are forced to depend on the easy and very common pool of coastal resources, such as forests, fisheries,coastal land areas, swamps, mangroves and coral reefs. The productivity of these resources is in decline as the environmental carrying capacity decreases due to increased coastal pollution, depletion of fish stocks and coastal resources, extinction of species overall decline in water quality. The coast’s untapped potential must be harnessed, but it must be done with the appropriate safeguards that link growth to wise management. The pressures on these resources will grow and, like other countries faced with an expanding population, are at risk of collapse. People’s quality of life, which is inextricably tied to the resource base, will continue to decline unless development moves hand in hand with local goals and aspirations.

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