On Friday the 9th of September the Malagasy Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources launched a licensing management system for the subsistence fishery of the southwest Region. ReefDoctor was honoured to be chosen as implementing partners for the Bay of Ranobe, and together, ReefDoctor and the Ministry of Fisheries registered fishermen and their boats from the village of Ifaty. Surrounding villages from the Bay of Ranobe will receive their licenses in the coming weeks. This licensing system will provide the first reliable baseline data for the number of fishermen reliant on the marine resources of the region, which is vital to guide future management of the fishery, and provide a platform from which marginalised communities can address the health and productivity of the sea.
The event was attended by the National and Regional ministries of Marine Resources and Fisheries, the Chef de Region RABE Jules, the mayor of the commune JULE Badeake, and representatives from each of the 13 communities in the Belalanda commune. The president and members of the local fishermen association FI.MI.HA.RA and turtle protection association FI.MPA.MI.FA provided support and materials to assist ReefDoctor in hosting this event.
Also in attendance were L’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Fonds Régional de Développement Agricole (FRDA), mangrove conservation NGO Honko, and L’Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marines (IH.SM, University of Toliara). Mangily Dive School, Atimo Dive Centre and Hotel de la Plage, key actors in the management of the local marine reserves, also supported the event. With the Ifaty women’s group entertaining the crowds with song and dance, the licensing system was launched with much fanfare, and it was a pleasure for ReefDoctor to contribute to the success of the day. These permits will form an integral part in the growing movement towards more sustainable fisheries in the region.
The Regional Fisheries Director for Atsimo Andrefana, RAHERINASOLO Emilson, with representatives from the National Ministry for Fisheries also took the opportunity to announce a transfer of management of the two fishery landing buildings within the Bay of Ranobe. The landings in Ifaty and Andrevo, formerly under the management of the Ministry of Fisheries will now be managed by ReefDoctor and integrated into the Darwin Initiative funded community aquaculture project. These landings will provide aquaculture farmers an opportunity to process, store and sell their products in a clean and weatherproof environment, free of contaminants which may reduce the price of seaweed and sea cucumbers. These buildings will become focal points for aquaculture activities within each community, provide a place for training, meetings, and lighting for nightly sea cucumber activities. ReefDoctor is thankful to the Ministry of Marine Resources and Fisheries for their continued support of the growing aquaculture industry in the Bay of Ranobe.
Report by Head of Aquaculture Cale Golding, photos by RD volunteer Sébastien Boudry