By Jeremie Bossert, Belo sur Mer Conservation Coordinator, Madagascar
Mangrove forests provide rich fishing grounds for many coastal people in western Madagascar. Blue Ventures first trialled mangrove reserves – temporary areas closed to all fishing – with the community of Belo sur Mer in 2011. These reserve areas are chosen by the communities themselves, and following the success of the initial 2011 reserves, the word soon spread.
In 2013, there were seven reserves organised and managed by a dozen villages between Belo sur Mer and Morondava. Blue Ventures has been supporting this locally-led initiative by offering advice about the creation of mangroves reserves, helping to organise meetings between villages, and facilitating the legalisation of the customary laws (or dina) used to govern the reserves. Productive fisheries are the best advertisement for this initiative, and Blue Ventures was asked by communities to assist with the creation of three more reserves by the end of 2013!
In this photo slideshow, our Belo sur Mer Conservation Coordinator, Jeremie Bossert, captures some of the action from the opening day.