On October 28th and 29th 2017, SOLSTICE-WIO project partners from the UK, South Africa, Keyna and Tanzania gathered in Dar es Salaam for a two-day All Regions Kick-Off meeting, to discuss and agree on collaboration to deliver project
The first day of the kick-off was dedicated to a field trip organised by the Institute of Marine Science (IMS), one of the Tanzanian project partners. The field trip introduced the international project partners, and the UK researchers in particular, to the socio-economic landscape of the Tanzanian Case Study, which is dedicated to the small pelagic fisheries in the Pemba Channel between the island of Pemba and the Tanzanian mainland. The field trip included a visit to Msasani pelagic fish community landing & processing site, the Ferry Fish Market (right), and Kunduchi fishing village.
The second day was an intense all-day meeting of presentations and discussions of the case study activities planned for Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Topics included the marine technologies and scientific methodologies that will be used during the environmental field work, plans for the socio-economic studies and plans for engaging with local and regional stakeholder communities, and outline plans for training and education activities.
Dr Popova, who leads the UK contribution to SOLSTICE, said:
“The SOLSTICE kick-off meeting has thrown us straight into the depth of the challenges facing the region. Our Western Indian Ocean partners have done a great job introducing us to the issues around sustainable management of living marine resources and the importance of improving our understanding of the marine environment in the WIO. We are all looking forward to an exciting and challenging project!”
SOLSTICE started with a “Big Bang”, putting together an exhibition and oral presentations which attracted a lot of attention at the 10th Scientific Symposium of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA).
The SOLSTICE exhibition booth became a hub for project partners networking with local and regional stakeholders, news outlets and others interested in collaborating on capacity development, training, and other project activities over the next four years.
NOC’s Dr Katya Popova gave a talk on ocean modelling. Prof Russ Wynn presented on the capabilities and benefits of Marine AutonomousSystems as a more robust and cost effective way to observe the marine environment. Regional SOLSTICE partners, IMS, TAFIRI, CORDIO-EA and WWF Tanzania, also had exhibition stands and posters presenting their research.