SOLSTICE-WIO is a four-year collaborative project funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Launched in October 2017, it brings together recent advances in marine technologies, local knowledge and research expertise to address challenges facing the Western Indian Ocean region in a cost-effective way via state-of-the-art technology transfer, collaborative environmental and socio-economic research and hands-on training. Over 100 million people in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region live within 100km of the coast, with over 1 million working in the fisheries sector. The WIO is highly dependent on the ocean for economic stability, food security, and social cohesion. In recent years, the region has seen dramatic and often poorly understood reductions in key fisheries, due to the combined effects of climate change, natural ecosystem variability, overfishing and degradation of key marine habitats. Understanding and managing WIO fisheries and the impacts of recent and future changes requires a mature capacity to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAF) that is built on sound environmental and socio-economic information.