Marine and Coastal Resources Governance

Tanzania has established standards to manage the coastal resources and environmental quality through installing both domestic and international laws.

Domestic Laws and Regulations 

National Fisheries Sector Policy and Strategy Statement (1997)

The overall goal of the National Fisheries Policy is to promote conservation, development and sustainable management of fisheries resources for the benefit of present and future generations. On fisheries resources and aquatic environmental protection, the policy mentions the requirement to integrate conservation and sustainable utilization of the fisheries resources into the socio-economic programs of the community, encourage and support all initiatives leading to the protection and sustainable use of fish stock and aquatic resources and to protect the productivity and biological diversity of coastal and aquatic ecosystems through prevention of habitat destruction, pollution and over exploitation.

National Integrated Coastal Environment Management Strategy (2000)

The National Integrated Coastal Environment Management Strategy (NICEMS) puts the foundation of coastal governance in Tanzania. It provides a framework under the National Environment Policy that links sectors at all levels of governance and creates partnerships among stakeholders towards sustainable use of coastal resources and development. It identifies six broad governance issues facing the coastal and marine environment and lays the strategies that are implementable to solve the identified issues through Integrated Coastal Management Approach.

The Environmental Management Act, Cap 191 (EMA), 2004

The law emphasizes the protection of the coastal environmental zone, conservation of biological diversity and protection of atmosphere. It empowers the National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) to cooperate with local government authorities to formulate strategies to deal with coastal and marine management

The Merchant Shipping Act No.21 of 2003

The Act provides for, among others, pollution prevention and protection of marine environment and marine security. The Act empowers the Minister to make regulations for prevention of marine pollution and prohibits discharge of oil or oily mixture anywhere at sea unless under special circumstances. The Act also places liability of oil pollution to the owner of the ship, except under special circumstances such as resulting from an act of war, hostility, insurrection or an act of God.

The Territorial Sea and Exclusive Economic Zone Act, 1989

An Act to make provision for the implementation of the Law of the Sea Convention, to establish the territorial sea and to establish an exclusive economic zone, of the United Republic adjacent to the territorial sea, and in the exercise of the sovereign rights of the United Republic to make provisions for the exploration, exploitation and conservation and management, of the resources of the sea and for matters connected with those purposes.

The Deep-Sea Fishing Authority Act, 1998, and Regulations 2009

This Act establishes a Deep-Sea Fishing Authority to regulate deep sea fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone and for related matters. This Authority has the power to regulate and control fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone of mainland Tanzania and Tanzania Zanzibar.

The Tanzania Ports Act, 2004

An Act to establish the Ports Authority and to provide for its functions and powers.

The Fisheries Act No 22 of 2003

The Act provides for protecting, conserving, developing, regulating or controlling the capture, collection, gathering, manufacture, storage or marketing of fish, fish products, aquatic flora or products of aquatic flora.

The Marine Parks and Reserves Act, 1994

The Act provides for the establishment, management and monitoring of marine parks and reserves. The Act also establishes a Marine Parks and Reserve Unit within the Division of Fisheries which, among others, is mandated to implement and enforce the Act and subsidiary legislation. All areas described in the Schedule are declared to be Marine Reserves. Regulations 3-9 specify prohibited or restricted activities in these areas.

The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority Act No. 9 of 2001

This Act establishes the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority, the Board of the Authority and a Council for the protection of interests of consumers. Furthermore, the Act defines the powers and functions of the public bodies established and provides for other matters relating to supply of services in the sector of rail transport, ports and maritime transport, public passenger road transport and commercial road transport.

National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) 2015-2020

The NBSAP 2015-2020 highlights the value and contribution of biodiversity to human well-being; the causes and consequences of biodiversity loss; legal and institutional framework; lessons learned; national biodiversity targets; strategies and actions needed to mainstream biodiversity into development, poverty reduction and natural resource management plans. The NBSAP 2015-2020 addresses among other things, several emerging issues such as climate change and variability, invasive species, GMOs, biofuel development, mining, oil and gas exploration and the continuous anthropogenic impacts.

International Laws and Agreements to which Tanzania is Party

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)

Popularly known as UNCLOS, the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, this international agreement defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.

International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

MARPOL is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes. The Convention includes regulations aimed at preventing and minimizing pollution from ships – both accidental pollution and that from routine operations – and currently includes six technical Annexes.

The Bamako Convention

The Bamako Convention is a treaty of African nations prohibiting the import into Africa of any hazardous (including radioactive) waste. Countries should ban the import of hazardous and radioactive wastes as well as all forms of ocean disposal.

Convention on Biological Biodiversity (1992)

This Convention supports Tanzania to conserve biological diversity, promote the sustainable use of its components, and encourage equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. Such equitable sharing includes appropriate access to genetic resources, as well as appropriate transfer of technology, considering existing rights over such resources and such technology.

The Convention places a duty on States Parties to conserve biological diversity within their jurisdiction, as well as outside their jurisdiction in certain cases (art. 4); requires States to cooperate in preserving biological diversity in areas out of national jurisdiction (art. 5);  conferring responsibility on States Parties for the formulation and implementation of strategies, plans or programmes for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity (art. 6).

2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 , provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

One of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted is Goal 14: Life below water, which aims to sustainably manage, use and protect marine and coastal ecosystems from pollution, as well as address the impacts of ocean acidification. Learn more about SDG 14: Life below Water.

Marine Protected Areas

Target 5 of the SDG 14 is to conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information by 2020. Nairobi Convention is supporting Tanzania meet the obligations under SDG Targets 14.2 and 14.5 and Aichi Target 11, besides other SDGs by publishing the Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Outlook for the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region.

Tanzania has made significant progress towards increasing the total coverage of MPAs. Currently, Tanzania has proclaimed 18 MPAs protecting over 2042 sq. km of oceans on the mainland (.92% of its EEZ), and an additional 2282 sq. km in Zanzibar (approximately 1% of its EEZ). These protected areas have given Tanzania the opportunity to maintain food and job security; protect its remarkable biodiversity; and safeguard its cultural heritage.  Find out more about the Marine Protected Areas in Tanzania at the Nairobi Convention Dashboard here.