Hassan and his fishers friends in Marohata, responsible coastal communities | WWF

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Hassan and his fishers friends in Marohata, responsible coastal communities

Hassan is a fisher in Marohata, near the Kirindy Mite Belo-Sur-Mer Biosphere Reserve. The Mozambique Channel has always been for him an abundant reserve of fishing products, an inexhaustible source of life and income. However, the local community in his village discouraged him from doing so by raising awareness that the resources should be used sustainably.

For his wife and his 4 children, Hassan goes to sea every day, he spends all day there but comes back without enough fish to sell, nor to feed his small family since a few years. He became aware that fishing products are not abundant and that his children might not have enough to eat. At the same time, he discovered the grassroots community "Mahasoa" (which means doing good in English) in his village. The vision of this community organization is to revive and regenerate the natural resources around Marohata for their children and grandchildren. Hassan decided to join this local organization in 2019 and became a fisheries data collector in his village.

Since then, he has learned sustainable fishing techniques including the establishment of fishing reserves that respect the fishing seasons. "There were days when I came back with less than a dozen fish, and after practicing small-scale fishing management, I have between 10 and 20 kg of fish per day in the fishing season." says Hassan. In "Mahasoa", he also learned financial and administrative management techniques, participated in the implementation of projects for the development of his community and for the sustainable management of the resources of his village. He has discovered associative life and is piloting an agricultural project that respects the cycle of the seasons. It is also his commitment to sustainability, to improve his family's income and to set an example for his peers.

In this community development approach, WWF is supporting the coastal communities of Kirindy Mite Belo-Sur-Mer in the establishment of locally managed marine areas. Sustainable community management includes surveillance and patrols, restoration of degraded mangroves, and raising awareness of destructive fishing practices. Thanks to this, some good practices initiated by Hassan and his peers are adopted by the surrounding communities including Ambalahonko where the use of destructive fishing gear is prohibited. "Nature is very valuable to me, not only because it is our source of life, but also because by integrating Mahasoa, it has also made me grow personally," Hassan confides to us.