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Rollins College

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Program Name

Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management

Abstract

A short-term study was conducted between November 3rd and November 30th of 2013 in which dolphin area usage was assessed and interviews conducted in order to evaluate which actions should be considered in order to improve dolphin management in Kizimkazi, Zanzibar. GPS coordinates during dolphin sightings were recorded while on tourist and volunteer boat trips to assess dolphin movement and distribution. While on the tourist boats, observations were also made regarding boat operator, tour guide, and tourist knowledge and behavior in relation to tourism interaction guidelines. Interviews were conducted with locals involved in the dolphin tourism sector, tour company representatives, government employees, and experts to determine any changes in dolphin sightings, the issues in the industry, the roles of government departments and NGOs, and potential solutions to improve dolphin tourism in the area, with the goal of creating recommendations for future action. It was discovered that dolphin sightings in the study occurred in different areas than the most recent previous study and that there may also be a shift in group sizes and behavior, all as a result of pressures from fishing and tourist boats. From both observations and interview responses, it was noticed that the guidelines for interaction (Appendix 1) are almost always violated. This is due to the fact that, despite many seminars having been held in the area, all boat captains still lack complete knowledge of these guidelines. To date, government departments have had no direct involvement in managing dolphin populations in the area. It is recommended that there be a compromise reached with fishermen to lower dolphin bycatch, that the government set a standard payment to boat captains per boat trip, and that the current guidelines be altered to make them simpler and enforcement be carried out by the Department of Fisheries using funding from the Menai Bay Conservation Area. Throughout this process, there will need to be continued communication and cooperation with locals to ensure long-term success of this conservation plan.

Disciplines

Civic and Community Engagement | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Other Animal Sciences | Tourism

 

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