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The first TMFR-AE contracts in Madagascar, signed in Ambaro Bay.

4 villages of Ambaro Bay including Antenina, Antsatrana, Ankazomborona and Ampasivelona have signed a contract for the Transfer of Fisheries Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems (TMFR-AE).

Fishery resources, a threatened potential
Fishing and aquaculture are important economic activities. In Madagascar, the fisheries and aquaculture sectors (marine and freshwater fisheries) produced a total of 130.725 tons in 2019 (OEPA Report, November 2020). Approximately 100,000 people make their living from fishing in the Big Island, and fishing is the main source of income for coastal communities such as in Ambaro Bay. 75% of the inhabitants are fishermen in the village of Antenina and about 900 people live from fishing in Ankazomborona. 

Unfortunately, our oceans are threatened and the fishery resources with them. The main threats in Ambaro Bay are destructive fishing practices and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, climate change that affects ecosystems, and massive human migration. All these pressures generate overexploitation and decline of the stocks. 

A management transfer, for the empowerment of fishers 
In 2018, a fisheries management plan or FMP was developed and implemented in the BATAN area (Bays of Ampasindava, Tsimipaika, Ambaro, and Nosy Be), for proper management of fisheries resources and to address the degradation of mangroves and coral reefs. In the framework of the implementation of this FMP, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, in partnership with the fishing communities and WWF, have proceeded to the implementation of the TGRH-EA in 4 villages: Antenina, Antsatrana, Ankazomborona and Ampasivelona.  

The culmination of this process culminates in the ceremonies of ritualization and formalization of the contracts of Transfer of Management of Fisheries Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems (TMFR-AE). This formalization will mark the start and effective implementation of sustainable and responsible management of fisheries resources based on local fisheries governance. The TMFR-AE empowers legally constituted fishermen's associations for the sustainable management and protection of resources (fish, shrimps and crabs) and ecosystems in an area of over 9,000 hectares. This is to improve the standard of living of local communities, increase their sources of income through the services provided by healthy ecosystems, and for future generations to benefit. 

For Lalaina Rakotonaivo of WWF Madagascar, "Through this management transfer, fishing communities will play a leading role in the management of fisheries resources and their marine and coastal ecosystems".  He also emphasizes that the signing of this TMFR-AE will have a positive impact on their daily lives: "If the resources are well managed, production could only increase in terms of quantity, and especially quality with healthy ecosystems."