Dar es Salaam Marine Reserve (DMRS)


Tanzania: The Reserve system consists of the four islands of Mbudya, Bongoyo, Pangavini and Fungu Yasini, situated outside Kunduchi, app 20 km N of Dar es Salaam on Tanzanian coast.

Management authority

Board of Trustees of Marine Parks and Reserves is custodian and overseer of the establishment and management of the Marine Protected Reserves in Tanzania

Objective/Purpose of site

Aesthetic, recreational, educational and research value.

Ecological features and assets

The Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves System consists of all major tropical ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds. It also includes the coral islands of Mbudya, Pangavini and Bongoyo.

Socioeconomic features and assets

The fishing communities of Kunduchi, Unonio, and Msasani all appear to be heavily dependent on the resources in the reserves, whilst those operating from Mbweni and the Banda beach landing site appear to rely on other fishing grounds.

Major Threats

Over-exploitation of the resources and unregulated tourist activities has led to degradation within the Reserves. Continued degradation of coastal and marine resource due to destructive practices as well as increased resource use pressure has aggravated the problems.

A decrease in the abundance of fish and coral health, and an increase in dynamite fishing, and the amount of bleached and broken coral has been noted by divers.

Fishermen have observed a decline in fish catches which they attribute to the use of small mesh nets (beach seine in particular) and dynamite fishing.

Background legislation and policy support

Marine Parks and Reserves (MPRs) are established under the Marine Parks and Reserves, Act No. 29 of 1994. The Dar es Salaam Marine Reserves were established under the Fisheries Act of 1970 and in 1998 there were transferred to the Marine Parks and Reserves Act.

Management structure

Managed by a Trusteeship


  • Infrastructure development and support to communities.
  • Training for communities and rangers including guide training and boat engine maintenance.
  • Awareness raising including provision of information products.
  • Support to target communities, including construction of community mangrove board walk and boat repair facility.
  • Bio-physical and socio-economic studies.

Stakeholder Involvement and participation

The most prominent stakeholder groups are fisher communities, visitors and tourists to the Island and the divers from hotels and the Dar es Salaam Yacht Club. The marine reserves could be described as a multi-user system. There is an overwhelming support for the development of a management plan among all stakeholders.

Major Needs

  • Change the status from Marine Reserve to Marine Park, leading to a multi-user system within a framework of integrated coastal management for the Dar es Salaam coastal area.
  • Develop a plan for restricted fishing areas and seasons.
  • Establish a comprehensive programme of ecological monitoring including fisheries data collection and reporting.
  • Enforce MPA regulations by establishing regular patrols.
  • Install mooring buoys in sites that receive large numbers of visitors i.e. Bongoyo and Mbudya
  • Develop and implement a structure for the payment and collection of MPA entry fees.
  • Raise awareness of marine conservation and management issues.
  • Involvement of local communities in all management decisions.