Madagascar Seeks Protection for Marine Resources

Local Vezo fisherman and shrimp trawler, southern Madagascar

As reported in DiscoveryNews,a new study, conducted by the University of California, Berkeley and the Wildlife Conservation Society is using  a “diversified portfolio” approach, to identify what ocean habitats need protection and use a variety of strategies to protect them. A “roadmap” for preserving marine life around the famously biologically rich island of Madagascar has been proposed in the new study.

Madagascar has proposed to create more than 1 million hectares (3,861 square miles) of protected areas to provide for the long-term conservation of its marine resources, including coral reefs and mangroves, despite its poor economic conditions.

It behooves countries, in the face of impending fisheries and climate crises, to plan and implement intelligent management that will increase the resilience of their natural marine resources,” said study co-author Tim McClanahan of the WCS. “This paper will provide a roadmap for Madagascar to plan and manage these resources and the methods should prove affordable and useful for the poorest countries where adaptation to climate change will make marine spatial planning a critical part of a successful response.”

The method looked at existing information on the country’s climate, along with dependence on fisheries and marine resources, and applies three different planning approaches to establish priorities for management along Madagascar’s entire west coast. These conservation priorities included coral reefs in the vicinity of the Barren Islands, the large shallow banks to the northwest and southwest, and the reefs of Juan de Nova.

DeeperBlue readers can read the full report here.