The Aspinall Foundation

A New Project in Maevatanana/Ambato-Boeni, Madagascar

Posted by The Aspinall Foundation on 02-Feb-2024 16:19:34

In common with many rural areas in Madagascar the local communities in the Maevatanana/Ambato-Boeni project area are highly dependent on natural resources for both food and income. In wetland areas this includes fishing. However, the range and abundance of endemic fish species have declined dramatically.

1905 20e Amboavadomanana Lake Tony King (108) 
Reasons for the decline in fish populations include current harmful and unsustainable fishing practices, such as not observing the closed season, using inappropriate fishing gear, and overfishing. The endemic species must also compete with non-native species that have been introduced into the waterways for commercial purposes. In addition, siltation, and pollution due to deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices result in the deterioration or loss of important habitat. 

Mosquito nets with fine mesh that capture juvenile fish are often used by local fishers Mosquito nets with fine mesh that capture juvenile fish are often used by local fishers
Our new project seeks to reduce the threats to the survival of native and endemic fish species by raising community awareness of laws and regulations regarding fishing, and why it is important to respect them; by educating local communities (children and adults) on how their activities impact natural resources; and by training to improve fishing skills and agricultural techniques. We also propose to help local communities with income and food security by creating work for women to make regulation-compliant fishing nets and helping local communities create new sources of income and food.   

A very important aspect of the project will be working with local fishers to stock endemic fish caught by them during the project and store them in a lake where no fishing will be allowed. The rules relating to this activity will be established by the community and we will follow up on how it evolves.
Whilst the current practices of local communities increase the pressure on the freshwater ecosystem, the presence of human habitation also provides opportunities as people can become custodians of this fragile environment. Their need to access ecosystem services for the foreseeable future is a strong incentive to manage natural resources in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way and this project aims to provide guidance towards this goal.

1905 17a Komadio Tony King (25) The beauty of the wetland area 
The project will be active throughout 2024 thanks to the support of Fondation Segré through IUCN Save Our Species. 

IUCN Save Our Species aims to improve the long-term survival prospects of threatened species. It also focuses on supporting the species' habitats and working with the communities who share this habitat. It achieves success by funding and coordinating conservation projects into multiple initiatives across the globe.


Topics: Conservation, The Aspinall Foundation, Madagascar, Fish

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