The coast of Red Sea State, Sudan, has an outstanding marine ecosystem. Over recent years a number of factors have pushed pastoralist communities to coastal areas to diversify their livelihood strategies - predominantly into fishing, and these fishing grounds need sensitive management. As a first step towards an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management IMA international was invited by the Institute of Marine Research, Norway, and UNIDO, to conduct a livelihoods analysis among the fishing communities, using the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA).
With a mix of techniques including interviews, focus group discussions, observations, SWOT analysis and seasonal calendars, among a variety of stakeholders from policy to grassroots level, visits were made to coastal communities from the North, to the South of Red Sea State. The fish value-chain in the state is complex with power hierarchies, kin structures, social norms, political unrest and international politics all interplaying, yet with careful management there is enormous possibility. Over the coming years IMA International will be working with the Marine Fisheries Institute, and UNIDO in this region.