Protection and management of marine and coastal ecosystems to promote and support the sustainable blue growth of coastal communities in Maputo Bay and Limpopo River Mouth in Mozambique

Type of implementing organization: 
Country of implementation: 
Duration of project: 
30 Months
Objectives of project: 

The project's main objective in Maputo Bay is to enhance sustained food security and livelihoods for coastal communities relying on marine resources. This will be achieved through the sustainable use of ecosystem resources, including fisheries, and by utilizing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) tools for poverty alleviation. The priority activities for this site include developing MSP, implementing management plans for critical habitats like mangroves and seagrass (including restoration plans for degraded areas), establishing a fisheries management plan using the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF), and implementing livelihood strategies for fishing communities in both Maputo Bay and the Limpopo River Mouth.

Maputo Bay, situated in the southern part of the country, encompasses the coastal regions of Maputo and Matola, forming the largest metropolitan area in the country with a major commercial port. The bay is home to diverse coastal and marine ecosystems, including mangroves, seaweed banks, coral reefs, and dune forests. These ecosystems face significant urban and industrial influences. Fishing plays a crucial role in the bay's economy, with resources like shrimp, pelagic fish, and demersal rock fish supporting small-scale fishers. While some conservation efforts are underway for critical habitats, there is currently no fisheries management plan in place. The project aims to support government agencies and communities in developing management plans for both fisheries and critical habitats, given the area's importance for livelihoods and environmental conservation.
The Limpopo River Mouth, located in the Gaza province, is characterized by concentrated mangrove forests along the river banks and dune vegetation along the coast. However, the construction of the Massingir Dam has significantly reduced sediment flow, negatively impacting young mangrove plants' survival. The region's population, heavily reliant on agriculture and fisheries, faces challenges due to salinization affecting agriculture and changes in fish species. The fishing resources in the Limpopo River Mouth area include crustaceans, small pelagic fish, and large pelagic, providing vital resources for local livelihoods. To address these challenges, the project in this area aims to develop sustainable management practices for both natural resources and livelihoods, considering the impact of human activities and environmental changes.
The project aims to support small-scale fishing communities in Maputo Bay and the Limpopo River Mouth, ensuring the sustainable management of fishing resources and habitats amid competition from other economic activities in the region. In Maputo Bay, the focus is on small-scale fisheries, environmental protection, and integrating fisheries management with ongoing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). The bay represents a crucial fishing area but faces challenges with overfishing and habitat degradation. The Limpopo River Mouth project aims to restore mangroves affected by past cyclones and floods, with a focus on sustainable fisheries management to support local livelihoods. By linking restoration efforts with fisheries management, the project seeks to safeguard the well-being of coastal communities while preserving essential ecosystems and resources.