What would you like to search for?

Our News

Sharing data on fishery resources for more sustainable fishing in the Mahafaly coastal region

​Fishing is an integral part of the daily lives of coastal communities, providing them with a continuous source of income.

It is essential for communities to be aware of the impacts of fishing activities on the fishery resources on which their livelihoods depend. With the support of WWF, coastal communities monitor their fishing catches on a daily basis. An analysis of this capture data is carried out periodically to see capture trends and fishing efforts. These analyses provide fishermen with visibility on the quantity of resources collected, but also on the status of these resources. In October 2023, the results of the analyses were presented in 5 villages along the Mahafaly coast, followed by another presentation last May. This latest feedback to community brought together 170 fishermen from the villages of Antsakoa, Andoharano, Andrahava, Andrenosy and Befolotse, during which the results of fishery resources monitoring from 2015 to 2023 were shared. Women and young people have a crucial role to play in preserving marine ecosystems, and their participation is essential in discussions on fisheries management.
The data provided concerned fishing for octopus, squid and fish, including tuna. Analyses revealed that over the years, catches of octopus and various fish species, including reef fish, have increased. There has also been an increase in fishing efforts due to the migration of farmers to the coast. Seeing their harvests wiped out by drought, farmers are turning to fishing to meet their needs. Also, intensifying winds, which do not allow fishing outing, are increasingly leading to a reduction in fishing time. However, the analyses also showed a reduction in unsustainable fishing practices, a good indication of the fishermen's efforts to manage their resources well.     
Thanks to these information-sharing sessions, fishermen are better informed about capture trends and can therefore adjust their strategies to ensure the proper management of fishery resources. Sharing information helps to strengthen community knowledge. This aims to ensure transparency and to catalyze more sustainable management of fishery resources and ecosystems. A management to which this knowledge is subject, as is the biodiversity that these ecosystems are home to. According to Jérémie Ndriamanja from WWF Madagascar: "The transparency of information on fishing encourages the empowerment of local players, thus promoting better governance of fishery resources".
In terms of improving management of marine resources and ecosystems, WWF supports fishing communities in i) setting up octopus reserves, ii) promoting more selective fishing with catches having a higher commercial value, and iii) adopting practices that reduce impacts on ecosystems and post-capture losses (e.g., use of longlines, processing of fish products, production of ice for products conservation).