We are delighted to see Madagascar achieving another fisheries transparency milestone by being accepted as a Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) candidate country, and proud to have worked with FiTI, civil society, private sector and the government to achieve this status.
The island nation is the third country in the world to gain candidate country status for membership of the FiTI, the leading global standard for fisheries transparency and participation, after Mauritania in 2018 and Seychelles in 2020.
“We welcome Madagascar into our global multi-stakeholder partnership and look forward to greater transparency in the management of the country’s fisheries sector strengthening participatory governance, contributing to reforms, and ultimately promoting the sustainable exploitation of marine fisheries,” said Dr Valeria Merino, Chair of the FiTI International Board.
— FiTI (@FisheriesTI) December 6, 2022
We have supported Madagascar’s government and local partners to lay the foundations to implement the FiTI’s global transparency standards, which are designed to help coastal countries increase the credibility and quality of national fisheries information, and we are thrilled to see their efforts being internationally rewarded and recognised. With an exclusive economic zone of 1.2 km2 and more than 500,000 small-scale fishers, the availability of accurate information is crucial for fisheries governance in Madagascar at all levels.
“On behalf of the FiTI International Board, I wish to extend my congratulations to the government and all other stakeholders in Madagascar who have worked tirelessly over the last 14 months towards this significant achievement,” said Merino.
More than 50 Malagasy civil society organisations wrote to Madagascar’s Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy (MPEB) to applaud its work and progress made in terms of transparency and good governance.
🇲🇬Over 50 #NGOs applaud #Madagascar‘s Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy for its recent activities, including its implementation of the #FiTI #transparency #fisheries #KnowYourFisherieshttps://t.co/qy1p1SJmV6 pic.twitter.com/kWgsQ25AS2
— FiTI (@FisheriesTI) December 6, 2022
“The FiTI will make the blue economy sector one of the main pillars of Madagascar’s economic emergence while preserving ecosystems,” said Dr Paubert Mahatante, Madagascar’s Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy.
The FiTI praised Blue Ventures’ teamwork and support to Madagascar to get to this stage of membership on social media, and also recently shared a video highlighting some of our joint work in Madagascar.
Our technical support to Madagascar’s government and local partners to strengthen fisheries transparency has included running workshops across the country to bring together civil society, local media, local authority, community and fisheries representatives to hold important discussions about improving fishing governance, revenues and licence agreements.
Madagascar’s small-scale fisheries support the food security and livelihoods of millions of people. The country’s diverse marine ecosystems are facing unprecedented degradation from climate change and overfishing, with growing numbers of small-scale and industrial fishing boats competing for dwindling catches.
“Through the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, FiTI membership allows us to improve public service delivery, promote transparency for responsible fisheries and foster collaboration with all stakeholders in the fisheries sector and the blue economy,” MPEB said.
“Joining the FiTI will allow us to improve delivery of public services, enhance transparency for responsible fishing and promote collaboration between all stakeholders in the fisheries and blue economy sector,” added Dr Mahatante.
Pragmatically, Madagascar’s government took another important step towards fisheries transparency in March 2022, when it published the list of industrial vessels authorised to fish for shrimp in the country’s waters.
Fisheries transparency is an increasingly important global issue and is widely considered crucial to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 to protect life underwater.
The FiTI is a global partnership that seeks to increase transparency and participation for more sustainable management of marine fisheries. By making fisheries management more transparent and inclusive, the FiTI promotes informed public debates on fisheries policies.
Bienvenu Tsivozahy, Executive Secretary of MIHARI, an independent Malagasy network that represents up to 300 locally managed marine areas (LMMA) across the island, has seen collaboration between the sectors has improved as a result of the FiTI.
“Madagascar’s move to join the FiTI has been matched by tangible actions at the state level and much better consultation with civil society members,” he said.
We have worked in Madagascar for two decades to support local efforts to rebuild fisheries with coastal communities. We look forward to continuing our work with the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy and providing technical support to meet the challenges of climate change, overfishing and IUU fishing to secure local livelihoods, and vital sources of food and income across the nation.
For more information, please email Anne Guillaume, Madagascar Communications Manager