Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Madagascar gets tough with poachers

December 5, 2012
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society congratulates Madagascar’s Ministry of Fisheries and local communities around Ankarea Marine Protected Area (MPA) for eliminating illegal sea cucumber harvesting from a protected area.

Enforcement staff from Madagascar’s Centre de Surveillance des Pκches or CSP and National Gendarmerie with confiscated gear from illegal sea cucumber harvesting.
Credit: CSP

The Wildlife Conservation Society congratulates Madagascar's Ministry of Fisheries and local communities around Ankarea Marine Protected Area (MPA) for working together to eliminate illegal sea cucumber harvesting from an area known for highest coral species richness in the Western Indian Ocean.

Authorities from Madagascar's Centre de Surveillance des Pκches or CSP, which is part of the Ministry of Fisheries, National Gendarmerie, National Navy, and the community of Nosy Mitsio banded together in October and early November to force out 80 divers who illegally entered Ankarea MPA to harvest sea cucumbers. Patrolling missions resulted in the confiscation of a speedboat, 48 dive tanks, 16 SCUBA diving regulators, and other equipment.

Sea cucumbers are sustainably harvested by local communities in Ankarea MPA, but are restricted from large-scale fishing operations including those that use oxygen tanks during the collection. Small scale, or traditional fishing, practiced without sophisticated gear, and generally done by accessing nearshore areas on foot or in small dugout canoes, is the primary source of subsistence and income for most of the local people.

"WCS congratulates national authorities, especially CSP, who were able, despite the current political and socioeconomic uncertainties in Madagascar, to conduct a very successful patrolling mission in Ankarea MPA," said WCS Director for Marine Programs Caleb McClennen. "This empowers the Nosy Mitsio community to continue to fully engage in the management of their marine resources."

WCS worked with the local communities to help establish the locally managed Ankarea MPA. One of the objectives of the MPA, as outlined by the community, elders, private operators, and local and national government officials, includes the conservation of resources that are heavily used in the area such as sea cucumbers.

Previously, such enforcement actions by CSP would have been difficult due to advance warning of patrols by more organized illegal fishing groups. However, the establishment of Ankarea MPA allowed for better coordination between local people and CSP.

According to official data from the ministry in charge of fisheries in Madagascar, sea cucumber fishery yield dropped by 80 percent during the last two decades. Sea cucumber harvesting in Madagascar started as hand gathering near shore. As stocks became depleted, fishers moved further offshore using snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Sea cucumber is not consumed locally and the majority of sea cucumber catch is exported in dried form to Asia.

At a local level, the arrival of many migrant divers from outside the community makes it impossible to use old methods (diving without oxygen) to gather sea cucumbers, and puts stresses on limited drinking water resources and subsistence food fisheries.

Ankarea MPA consists of a large island, Nosy Mitsio, and an archipelago of 16 neighboring islands. This remote region in northwestern Madagascar harbors a great diversity of marine ecosystems including mangroves, sandy and rocky intertidal zones, as well as fringing and patch coral reefs. An estimated 1,300 people live on Nosy Mitsio in approximately 25 small villages.

Ankarea MPA is in the northern Mozambique Channel, home of the world's second-most diverse coral population. Research by WCS has found that northwest Madagascar's high coral diversity and intact ecosystems are least likely to be undermined by climate disturbances in the near term. For this reason, these reefs are considered a high priority for increased management efforts that will reduce additional human disturbances, such as fishing, in order to improve the chances for their persistence.

WCS has been involved in the establishment of marine protected areas in northwest Madagascar for over a decade. WCS worked with Madagascar's Ministry of Environment to create Sahamalaza-Radama Islands National Park, and two large locally managed marine protected areas that safeguard critical marine habitats around Nosy Iranja -- Ankivonjy MPA and Ankarea MPA.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Madagascar gets tough with poachers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205132203.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2012, December 5). Madagascar gets tough with poachers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205132203.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Madagascar gets tough with poachers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205132203.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This

More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) — Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) — Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins