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Mongabay: An export boom threatens to put Madagascar’s mud crabs in hot water

Mongabay: An export boom threatens to put Madagascar’s mud crabs in hot water

An article on Mongabay, authored by Malavika Vyawahare, covers a recent decision by the Malagasy government to grant permits to export live mud crabs to five Chinese companies, which has sparked controversy and highlighted the country’s struggle to sustainably manage an overexploited fishery.

In Madagascar, mud crabs provide both a source of food and income to millions of coastal people, however Madagascar’s crab catch is increasingly exported by foreign companies. As a result, it is the Malagasy people who bear the brunt of fishing closures and restrictions, but for which outsiders reap the rewards.

Despite the growing challenges, the announcement of the mud crab export permits supports the need to back locally led efforts to conserve mangroves and develop alternative livelihoods. 

Referencing Blue Ventures’ 2018 report, the article states, “Stabilizing or increasing crab production are not the only ways to maintain or improve income for fishers, wholesalers, and sub-collectors”. By supporting community-led efforts to protect and conserve mangrove forests, as well as the development of alternative livelihoods such as aquaculture and ecotourism, communities are able to build resilience in the face of an ever changing fisheries landscape.

Read the full article here

To find out more about community-led mangrove conservation efforts in Madagascar, watch our new film about Tahiry Honko.

Photo: Louise Jasper

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