We provide marine guide training to piroguiers in order to facilitate tourism-based livelihoods
One thing there is a lot of in the Bay of Ranobe is pirogues. Pirogues are the traditional boats used by Malagasy people. They are used for fishing, and transporting goods and people. In recent years a new market has opened up to piroguier. The sale of tourist pirogue trips to the two local marine reserves in the bay. As a result, many of the hotels in the area employ a piroguier to meet tourists needs and many other piroguiers work independently from the beach. Since piroguiers that work in full-term employment in the tourist sector no longer need to fish for a living, we therefore wanted to support this livelihood as much as possible.
Since 2015, we have run training courses to train piroguiers in the popular tourist area of Ifaty-Mangily. The courses aim to provide the piroguier with background knowledge on the marine reserves, the species of fish and invertebrates that can be found there, and how to respect the reef. They can then pass this knowledge onto tourists who visit the reef to snorkel so that they get more from the experience. We also provide the pirogue with basic first aid training to increase the safety and professionalism of their service.
Following the completion of the course and passing of exams, we present the piroguiers with certification and badges. To date, tourists have been giving glowing reports of their snorkelling trips; they felt safe and well informed, saw the best parts of reserve, and have been impressed with the level of professionalism. Such great feedback will promote business for these piroguiers and we are delighted to play a part in their career progression.