Spring 2012 Edition 37
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Table of contents
- Ghana-ing Information in West Africa
- Andao Fa Lera!
- Support to Neighbouring LMMAs in Southern Madagascar
- Education, Education, Education!
- I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues; News from the Blue Carbon & Coastal Communities Project
- Investigating a Potential Private Sector Partnership
- Documenting LMMA Replication in Southwest Madagascar
- 2012: Year of the Sea Cucumber
- PHE Village Outreach Tour Now Reaches Regular Audience of 3000!
- News from Belize
- Spawning Aggregations at Rocky Point, Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve
- Fishery Certification in Developing & Emerging Economies: the Way Forward. Madrid, Spain, 13 February, 2012.
- Climate Change, Deforestation and Future of African Rainforests. Oxford, UK, 4 - 6 January, 2012.
- 6th Annual National Resource Management Symposium for Belize. Belmopan, Belize, 22 - 23 March, 2012.
- Coral Reef Conservation in the Red Sea Symposium. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 8 - 12 January 2012.
- Recent Publications
Ghana-ing Information in West Africa
The start of 2012 heralded new horizons for Blue Ventures when a team of four marine scientists travelled to Ghana, West Africa. Working together with the University of Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Center (CRC ), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Blue Ventures is helping to develop plans for a network of marine protected areas (MPA) in Ghana's western region that will be co-managed with local fishing communities.
The Fante people of western Ghana have a long history of traditional fishing. The highly productive coastal zone is supplied with cold, nutrient rich waters through upwelling from deeper waters and provides pelagic fisheries with anchovy, herring, sardine, mackerel and tuna. The coastline is also replete with a range of habitats including shallow and deep rocky reefs, mud and sand, estuarine lagoons and mangroves, which fishers exploit outside of the upwelling seasons.
Little research has been conducted on the rocky reef ecosystems of western Ghana. Blue Ventures was invited by the University of Rhode Island's CRC to undertake quantitative in-water assessments of these habitats and their fish communities, to document how they are being impacted by human pressures. General assessments of socioeconomic characteristics and resource use were also made to provide initial recommendations for community-based sustainable management of marine and coastal resources.
Andao Fa Lera!
In January 2011 a twelve month campaign called "Andao fa Lera, Vezo Miasa Miasa" ("Let's go, it's time for Vezo to work together") was implemented in Morombe, a town immediately to the north of the Velondriake Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) (Fact Box 1), to promote better local marine resource management through the implementation of temporary marine reserves and a reduction in the use of destructive fishing practices. The campaign primarily targeted local leaders, fishers using destructive methods (poison fishing and beach seining), but also other community members. The campaign involved monthly community outreach, trainings, an exchange visit to the Velondriake LMMA, radio activities, and the distribution of materials such as posters, T-shirts and caps, and banners. To help meet the campaign objectives, Blue Ventures supported the implementation of the local association called "Teariake", which means "loving the sea", to lead local management.
In February 2012, a survey was conducted to evaluate the impact of the campaign as well as the community's perception of the actions and management tools implemented. The evaluation focused on the target audiences' awareness and understanding of the campaign; understanding and ownership of marine resources; community participation in campaign activities and community perception of the temporary octopus reserve closures implemented in Morombe.
The "Andao Fa Lera" campaign was considered a success, especially for a region where the concept of marine resource management has only recently been introduced; and 95% of the respondents were willing to continue greater action to stop destructive fishing and to implement local laws to regulate fishing practises in the Morombe region. From village presidents to the District Chief, a range of stakeholders were heavily involved in this campaign and contributed to its success. Further community outreach activities will be conducted by Blue Ventures and the Velondriake Association in Morombe in order to build on the success of this campaign and help to legalise the Teariake Association and the formation of their local laws.
Support to Neighbouring LMMAs in Southern Madagascar
Since its creation in 2003, the Velondriake LMMA has been a pioneering community-based marine conservation project in Madagascar. Inspired by its success, similar LMMAs have been set up with support from Blue Ventures along the adjacent coastlines. To the south of Velondriake lies Manjaboaka LMMA, incorporating four coastal villages that have focused exclusively on temporary octopus closures. To the north is the town of Morombe, the regional governmental hub and home to more than 15,000 people, many of them fishers. Here, Blue Ventures has helped to create the Teariake LMMA, focusing on temporary octopus closures and on reducing destructive fishing practices. Together, these three neighbouring LMMAs cover a significant portion of the southwest coastline (over 1,500 km2). Blue Ventures recognises the importance of peer-to-peer education for the learning process, allowing local fishers to discuss challenges, successes, benefits and costs to managing their marine and coastal areas. To this end, Blue Ventures is committed to facilitating exchanges between LMMAs so that they can build trust, learn from each other, and work together to tackle similar issues. In March, seven committee members of the Velondriake Association visited the Manjaboaka Association, to discuss these issues. In the upcoming months, Blue Ventures will support a similar visit by the Velondriake Association to Teariake LMMA to hold a workshop and conduct a presentation on marine conservation in the southwest. As the three LMMAs gear up for another round of temporary octopus reserve closures (June-August of each year), these exchanges are particularly relevant and useful for facilitating coordination of the closures.