Many local coastal communities, particularly those previously involved in local or sustenance fishing, are desperately needing to seek alternative livelihoods as the world's fish stocks dwindle. Many are turning to tourism and associated industries that have the potential to impact negatively on the local environment if not managed properly.

In addition there are very many Tourist and Hospitality Industries along Africa's Coastline that rely on the sustainability of their surrounds to conduct business and continue to attract visitors to the area. These same visitors generally are also eager for knowledge, and keen to learn more about the area they are visiting in order to enhance their experience and add to the enjoyment.

It is thus important that employees in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries are able to communicate meaningful information to visitors, and provide answers to queries about the environment, ecology and species in the area.

However, it is firstly important that people are fully aware of the issues facing the environment these days - what the threats and causes are that could damage the environment so we can all learn to act more responsibly.

This Module looks at some of the issues in the way of an introduction to better management of Marine and Coastal Areas.