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Study in Tanzania finds fishery improvements outweigh fuelwood losses
Date:9/8/2011

rapid degradation of the habitat," Gold said. "It's likely that the livelihood of the fishermen would also decline."

Using advanced econometric techniques, Uchida combined data obtained from a survey of 150 residents living near the park with changes in mangrove cover near their communities. The analyses demonstrated that the number of people who reported shrimping as a livelihood increased from 16 percent to 23 percent after the park opened, and fishing increased from 27 percent to 43 percent. Many of the households entering these fields had previously harvested the mangroves for fuelwood and charcoal.

"Globally, environmental degradation tends to happen in places where there is extreme poverty. In such cases, we cannot solve environmental problems without addressing poverty at the same time," Uchida said. "What this study found is promising: the protected area in Tanzania has been able to slow down the degradation of mangroves and at the same time provide new income opportunities for the poor."

According to the researchers, although some individuals fared poorly as a result of the more restrictive land use in the new park, protection of the mangroves improved the livelihoods of many community members. McNally noted that local residents receive additional benefits of improved roads and better availability of water and educational opportunities because of the infrastructure that came with the establishment of the park.

"One concern, however, is that the big shift of people into the fisheries sector could harm the fishery unless proper fishery management practices are implemented," said McNally.


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Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

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