Thanda Island, leased by Thanda Tanzania Limited, is deeply committed to the conservation of the region’s sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins and whale sharks, as well as the preservation and rehabilitation of the Shungi Mbili coral reef. Thanda Island is situated within the Shungi Mbili Island Marine Reserve, and Thanda’s team is partnering with the Tanzanian Marine Parks and the leading NGO, Sea Sense, on a range of marine conservation and education programmes in the region. These include research and conservation projects on the sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whale sharks, coral reefs and marine reserves.
Five species of marine turtles occur in Tanzania’s waters. These include green, hawksbill, loggerhead, olive ridley and leatherback turtles. Two species – green and hawksbill – have recently returned to nest on the Island. All are categorised by the IUCN as endangered or critically endangered species.
The whale shark, which breeds just south of Thanda Island, is the largest fish in the world. Its size, gentle nature and tendency to swim at the surface in known sites makes it a focal species for marine tourism. Whale sharks are categorised by the IUCN as vulnerable to extinction.