The decline of many marine megafauna species is of global concern; but many of these species, in particular marine mammals, have been afforded international and national protection and are the focus of conservation programmes. The existing national and international legislation are reviewed through which marine megavertebrates are afforded protection in Malagasy waters. The decline and protection of marine megafauna has followed a familiar pattern in Madagascar, with two main exceptions: marine turtles and elasmobranchs remain heavily exploited by national and international fishing fleets. The status of legislation governing both taxa is unclear and unknown by many working within the fisheries and marine sector. In Madagascar, marine turtles are fully protected from exploitation by national regulations in conjunction with a number of multilateral agreements. The numerous pieces of legislation that protect marine turtles are not coherent, regularly misunderstood and rarely enforced. Madagascar is taking steps to improve protection of marine turtles through the development of a national strategy, but it is recommended that the opportunity is also taken to improve understanding of current legislation and work more closely with local communities that consider turtle fishing a customary practice. Elasmobranchs however, receive minimal legal protection and only those listed under multilateral agreements are bound by any potential future management. Where legislation does exist to help manage elasmobranchs (eg. bycatch stipulations for foreign fishing vessels) it is incomplete and difficult to enforce. It is also recommended that Madagascar puts in place national elasmobranch legislation to help prevent their continued overfishing, especially in the face of increasing numbers of elasmobranch species on CITES and CMS. As such, both groups of species are rendered effectively unprotected and are in danger of overexploitation. With the growth and proliferation of locally managed marine areas (LMMAs) in Madagascar the potential for local communities to increase protection and management of these species should be considered, especially with the limited capacity available to monitor and enforce legislation along such a vast coastline.