In Mongabay’s recent article, Chris Scarffe, explores the increasing global demand for sea cucumbers, which in turn, is making small-scale fishers in Madagascar resort to risking death and arrest to fish for wild sea cucumbers in the West Indian Ocean.
In one of the world’s poorest countries, diving deeper and further into the ocean using unsafe gear to search for sea cucumbers is one of the only lucrative income opportunities available. However, this illegal and dangerous way of earning money is not sustainable, both financially and environmentally; increasing global demand for sea cucumbers means that the population is in rapid decline.
The article references Blue Ventures’ community-led aquaculture programmes in southwest Madagascar, which are attempting to provide a new form of income for traditional small-scale fishers, whilst simultaneously alleviating pressure on marine life. Whilst the project remains an ambitious challenge, the farms are increasingly under community-led management and are delivering rewards to coastal communities.
Read the full article here
Photo: Garth Cripps