It’s still early in the morning as our small boat speeds across a sea of brilliantly blue water. Bouts of pounding rain have kept us on shore in the city of Angoche for days, but with clearer clear skies and calmer seas, our small group—a team of researchers and conservationists from WWF and CARE—can finally make its way to Pulizica, a small fishing community in Mozambique’s Primeiras e Segundas archipelago.
Pulizica is home to the newest fish sanctuary established by the CARE-WWF Alliance, a global partnership to address the root causes of poverty and environmental degradation, and today we’re seeing how well the protected area is recovering declining fish stocks in the region. As one of three community-governed, no-take fishing zones in the area, the Pulizica sanctuary is part of larger efforts by the Alliance to improve local livelihoods by helping communities better manage their natural resources.
Spanning 4,020 square miles, Premeiras e Segundas is a coastal marine reserve comprised of 10 barrier islands, mangrove forests, coastal estuaries, coral reef complexes, and seagrass beds—all of which support an astonishing array of species. Mozambique’s largest concentration of endangered green, hawksbill, and olive ridley turtles swim in these waters, alongside everything from