Mafia Island Marine Park | WWF

Mafia Island Marine Park

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > East Africa > Tanzania

Dugong (Dugong dugon), Indo-Pacific Ocean.
© WWF-Canon / Jürgen FREUND


Through this project WWF works in close collaboration with local communities and the government of Tanzania to develop and manage the country's first marine park.


Tanzania's Mafia Island possesses some of the most beautiful coral reefs on the East African coast. The marine ecosystem associated with the island is thought to contain critical seed banks for marine organisms, as well as feeding, breeding, and nesting grounds for seabirds and threatened marine species such as the dugong and sea turtles. The local economy is highly dependent on the island's rich fisheries.


1. Assist the Tanzanian government, and especially Mafia communities, and surrounding islands to develop the Mafia Island Marine Park and effectively conserve and manage the natural resources of the park's ecosystem.

2. Assist in the management of Mafia Island Marine Park so that the ecosystem processes and biodiversity are maintained for the benefit of the people of Tanzania, and particularly the Mafia Island community.

3. Facilitate the development of economic activities to reduce pressures on the park's ecosystems, while ensuring all natural resources within the park are used sustainably.


Mafia fishers and villagers, together with the Ministry of Tourism, Natural Resources and Environment, asked WWF to help create the country's first marine park to protect Mafia Island's resources from dynamite fishing, coral mining, and the uncontrolled development of tourism.

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