[IIOE2-EP42] Sustainable Oceans, Livelihoods and food Security through Increased Capacity in Ecosystem research in the Western Indian Ocean (SOLSTICE-WIO)

Lead Investigator :

  1. Ekaterina Popova, National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom
  2. Michael Roberts, Nelson Mandela University, Gomery Ave, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Other Key participants (s):

  1. Warwick Sauer,Rhodes University, South Africa
  2. Lucy Scott,South Africa Earth Observation Network, South Africa
  3. Tony Leiman,University of Cape Town, South Africa
  4. Joseph Kamau,Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute (KMFRI), Kenya
  5. David Obura,CORDIO East Africa, Kenya
  6. Baraka Sekadende,Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), Tanzania
  7. Yohana Shaghude,Institute of Marine Sciences, Tanzania
  8. Julius Francis,WIOMSA, Tanzania
  9. Alex Poulton,Herriot Watt University, United Kingdom
  10. Sevrine Sailley,Plymouth Marine Laboratory, United Kingdom
  11. John Howe,Scottish Association for Marine Science, United Kingdom

Period of Project: 01 October 2017 - 31 December 2021

Brief description of the Project:

Over 100 million people in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region live within 100km of the coast, with over 1 million working in the fisheries sector. The WIO is highly dependent on the ocean for economic stability, food security, and social cohesion. In recent years, the region has seen dramatic and often poorly understood reductions in key fisheries, due to the combined effects of climate change, natural ecosystem variability, overfishing and degradation of key marine habitats. Understanding and managing WIO fisheries and the impacts of recent and future changes requires a mature capacity to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAF) that is built on sound environmental and socio-economic information.

SOLSTICE-WIO is a four-year collaborative project funded by the UK Research and Innovation Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Launched in October 2017, it brings together local knowledge and international research expertise to address challenges facing the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region in a cost-effective way.

Key to SOLSTICE is an approach that sees human-natural systems as a whole, integrated entity. Using stateof-the-art marine technologies (i. marine robotics; ii. earth observation via satellites; iii. numerical modelling) and research methods, SOLSTICE will conduct collaborative environmental and socio-economic research to deliver decision support for policy development and resource management in the WIO.

Through hands-on training and mutual exchange of expertise and research skills, the project will increase the capacity of both the UK and WIO marine science communities to deliver research that can underpin regional efforts towards sustainable management of marine living resources. The project also aims to increase ocean literacy by working with local communities to build on their knowledge and understanding of the issues, and share scientific information resulting from SOLSTICE research. Ultimately, this will contribute to improved food security for marine-dependent coastal populations in the region.

Region of study:

SOLSTICE work is focused on the three case studies in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. These have been selected by SOLSTICE partners in each of the three countries. For more information on each, follow the links on the left menu bar.

  • Kenya: new frontiers for food security and economic growth
  • Tanzania: living marine resources and impacts of climate change
  • South Africa: ecosystem shifts and stability of fisheries

    • In addition, a number of SOLSTICE research activities are focused on the wider WIO region