The present migration of traditional fishers is symptomatic of the many challenges faced by poor coastal people in South West Madagascar. Significant migrations of traditional fishers take place over the entire west and southwest coasts of Madagascar. Here, myriad movements take place, ranging in distance from tens to hundreds of kilometres, and in time scale from short fishing trips lasting a few weeks to seasonal migrations of three to nine months.
The Velondriake community-managed protected area evolved from the establishment of a successful temporary octopus no-take-zone by the village of Andavadoaka in November 2004 to a fully-fledged marine protected area officially incepted in October 2006. By 2009 it encompasses 25 villages and is a vehicle through which 6,500 people are effectively husbanding their natural resources, developing alternative livelihoods and tackling the social challenges they face. This report narrates the steps taken to achieve this and details the support Blue Ventures has given to the Velondriake community to enable them to realise their vision.
For many years, the Vezo – traditional fishers in southwest Madagascar – saw marine conservation as a threat, a way of preventing them from accessing their fishing grounds. A decade ago, we set about trying to overcome this issue, working with these communities to understand their concerns and develop a low-risk approach to marine protection that would return meaningful economic benefits in timeframes that worked for them.
Mangroves are found throughout the tropics, providing critical ecosystem goods and services to coastal communities and supporting rich biodiversity. Globally, mangroves are being rapidly degraded and deforested at rates exceeding loss in many tropical inland forests. While historically not prominent, mangrove loss in Madagascar’s Mahajamba Bay is increasing.
Eight years of octopus fishery records from southwest Madagascar reveal significant positive impacts from 36 periodic closures on: (a) fishery catches and (b) village fishery income, such that (c) economic benefits from increased landings outweigh costs of foregone catch. We discuss the implications of our findings for broader co-management arrangements, particularly for catalyzing more comprehensive management.
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