Long-Term Community Based Coral Reef Monitoring at Buyuni

Aqua-Farms Organization has been engaged in long-term monitoring of Buyuni Reef since 2021. Buyuni Reef located on the southern coast of Tanzania harbors diverse coral species that have attracted a number of tourists, However, there is a lack of capacity for the local community to monitor the coral reefs for strengthening their management. Aqua-Farms Organization works with the community to provide training and building capacity for monitoring corals at Buyuni to inform local and global management strategies. The coral monitoring at Buyuni focuses on monitoring: Abundance and biomass of reef fish taxa, the Abundance of key macroinvertebrate species, the Recruitment of reef-building corals, coral bleaching, diseases, and the Percentage of coral cover. The project will install temperature probes at various depths to measure temperature data continuously. Long-term coral monitoring is essential for understanding the health and status of coral reefs and informing management and conservation efforts to protect these valuable ecosystems involving the community is crucial for strengthening capacities and enhancing competencies in data collection for coral reef management and ensuring that conservation efforts are responsive to local needs and priorities.

This project has trained 3 fishermen as “Buyuni Reef Guardians” with support from Rufford’s small conservation grant and is looking forward to fundraising and training 10 fishermen and 15 students from the Buyuni community by 2024. Buyuni Reef Guardians serve as the custodian for coral reef conservation in their local community at Buyuni. This project contributes to the implementation of SDGs targets 14.2 and 14.8 of sustainably managing and protecting coastal ecosystems and developing research capacity in the least developed countries and small developing islands.

Photo 1: Image showing coral reef at Buyuni

Photo 2: Conducting a coral monitoring survey with some members of Buyuni community for the expansion of sites.

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