Pilot Site: Sangomar
Created in 2014 with the aim of conserving the marine and coastal biodiversity, the Sangomar Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located in the region of Fatick. It is limited by the Joal-Fadiouth MPA in the North, by the Saloum Delta National Park in the South, and by the Palmarin Community Nature Reserve (RNC) in the East. The MPA, of which much is part of the Saloum Delta Biosphere Reserve, spans over an area of 87,400 ha. During an exploration of this areas, three species of seagrasses were identified, namely, Zostera noltii, Cymodocea nodosa and Halodule wrightii. This was first verified record of Zostera noltti south of Mauritania.
The Sangomar MPA is high in biological diversity, and composed of different ecosystems – mangroves, forests, grassy savannahs, and mudflats. It is home to a highly diversified fauna including migratory birds, fish (more than 60 identified species), reptiles (green turtles, crocodiles), and mammals (humpback dolphins, manatees). In addition, specific zones in the MPA constitute important nursery and feed grounds for several fisheries resources that are of high economic value for the local communities’ livelihoods. Similar to Joal-Fadiouth, the Serer culture is central to the organization of fisheries, and gleaning activities are common practices among women. However, information about the extent and presence of seagrass beds in the MPA is lacking, thus the need for more advanced research, mapping and taxonomies.