&Beyond Mnemba Island is known for its coral atoll, which supports a variety of reef fish and other marine life.
In 2005, &Beyond worked with the Zanzibar Department of Fisheries and members of local Zanzibari fishing communities to form the Mnemba Island Marine Conservation Area (MIMCA). In addition to other measures, this protected area officially demarcated specific areas for snorkelling, diving and fishing. The agreement also resulted in the introduction of a daily recreational fee for the use of these areas. The revenue generated by this levy was used to fund local community projects and benefit local fishermen.
One of the main objectives of the establishment of MIMCA was to reduce the incidence of net fishing in the shallow waters off the coral reefs and encourage fishing for fewer and larger species further out, in deeper waters. Several measures were introduced to encourage this practice.
The boundaries of MIMCA have now been extended to include a far larger portion of the Zanzibar coastline.
&Beyond continues to work with local villagers to implement localised and sustainable conservation plans, as well as to implement more effective netting techniques that don’t damage the reefs.