BMU compliance assessment evaluates the level of adherence to fisheries regulations by Beach Management Units (BMU) with the goal of strengthening fisheries management. The evaluation results help Beach management units (BMUs) and key stakeholders in understanding the causes for compliance and non-compliance and in developing suitable interventions to improve compliance.
Need for Compliance Assessment
We launched a governance initiative in 2019 with the primary goal of improving the capacity of BMU leaders from nine BMUs (Vanga, Jimbo, Majoreni, Shimoni, Mkwiro, Wasini, Kibuyuni, Mwandamu, and Munje) in Shimoni-Vanga and Msambweni. This program has been supported by the collection of fish catch data in order to better understand the status of fisheries resources and make informed management decisions.
We can't improve when we can't measure
In June 2023, we conducted our first ever annual compliance assessment to evaluate the status of compliance in relation to BMU bylaws and fisheries management legislations. The assessment targeted BMU members and fisheries law enforcement agencies; Kenya Coast Guard Services, Kenya Fisheries Service, Kwale County Fisheries department and Kenya Wildlife Service. The initial stage of the assessment involved the collection of primary data through key informant interviews (KII) and secondary data from fish catch data, governance and BMU records. The assessment culminated with collaborative grading through focus group discussions (FGDs) to obtain compliance scores for fisheries management measures per BMU and the corresponding reasons of compliance and non-compliance.
A total of 91 BMU members, 62 males and 29 females from the 9 BMUs participated in the assessment. The participants scored each measure on a 5-level compliance scale (1= no compliance while 5= full compliance).
Are the communities getting it right?
The assessment results indicated that most BMUs are at level 3 meaning while some follow the regulations, some don't. The major causes of non-compliance are;
- lack of awareness among the BMU members on fisheries legislations
- lack of transparency and accountability among BMU leaders
- lack of alternative livelihoods, ignorance among fishers
- poor law enforcement
These results are helpful as they will advise the required interventions to increase BMU members compliance to fisheries legislations which will lead to improved fisheries resources management.