Last update:
2016-10-24

Protest against commercial shrimp farming in Rufiji Delta, Tanzania

The successful campaign against a large proposed commercial shrimp aquaculture in the Rufiji delta which would have otherwise destroyed the largest mangrove forest in Eastern Africa.


Description:

The Rufiji river is about 600 km long, with its source in southwestern Tanzania and its mouth on the Indian Ocean at a point facing Mafia Island in the Mafia Channel. The Rufiji Delta is about 200 km south of Dar es Salaam. The delta contains the largest mangrove forest in eastern Africa Rufiji delta, it is the home to approximately 53,000 acres of mangrove forests. This is the largest continuous stretch of such forest across East Africa. The delta also houses about 41,000 people, most of whom are small farmers and fisherfolk. The mangrove forests provide protection from hurricanes, preserve quality of life, sustains many species of land and water flora and fauna, and is also the direct source of livelihood of the 41,000 people.    In 1997, the Tanzanian government sanctioned the proposal by the African Fishing Company (AFC) to set up an enormous 19,000 hectare shrimp aquaculture site, which would consist of hatchery, processing plant, and a feed mill. The site of this commercial venture was within the Mafia Island Marine Park, and would be replacing a part of the 'mangrove forest reserve'. The business was alleged to produce US $500 million a year in export profits from the supposedly 6210kg of shrimps per hectare per year, mainly from Europe and Japan.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Protest against commercial shrimp farming in Rufiji Delta, Tanzania
Country:Tanzania
State or province:Dar es Salaam region
Location of conflict:Rujifi Delta
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Wetlands and coastal zone management
Aquaculture and fisheries
Specific commodities:Shrimps
Project Details and Actors
Project details

African Fishing Company (AFC) proposed to set up a 19,000 hectare shrimp aquaculture site, which would consist of hatchery, processing plant, and a feed mill. The site of this commercial venture was within the Mafia Island Marine Park, and would be replacing a part of the 'mangrove forest reserve'. The business was alleged to produce US $500 million a year in export profits from the supposedly 6210kg of shrimps per hectare per year, mainly from Europe and Japan.

Project area:19,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:41,000
Start of the conflict:01/01/1997
End of the conflict:2001
Company names or state enterprises:African Fishing Company (AFC) from Tanzania - Main beneficiary of the shrimp project
Relevant government actors:National Environmental Management Council (NEMC)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Journalist Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET), Mangrove Action Project (MAP), East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS), Lawyers in Environmental Action Team (LEAT)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Journalists
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Withdrawal of company/investment
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:This was a successful campaign, as the project was stopped, and the company was liquidated in 2001
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Networking in East Africa for threatened Coastal Wetland
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

World Rainforest Movement bulletin about the impasse on commercial shrimp farming in Rufiji delta
[click to view]

The Death of Rufiji Prawn Project
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Good report on the general background to shrimp farming, including a brief note on the Rufiji Delta
[click to view]

Other documents

[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Brototi Roy
Last update24/10/2016
Comments
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