MADAGASCAR MARINE PROGRAM NEWS & FEATURES

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1 MADAGASCAR MARINE PROGRAM NEWS & FEATURES December April 2012 ANTONGIL BAY SEASCAPE Formalization of Six New LMMAs Antongil Bay, in northeast Madagascar, contains many marine habitats: estuaries, mangroves, rocky shores, coral reefs, and seagrass beds facing threats from high fishing pressure and illegal fishing, depletion of mangrove forests, sedimentation from terrestrial runoff, and petroleum industry exploration. To protect those critical habitats the Marine National Park of Nosy Antafana was created in 1989 (1,000 ha), three marine protected areas, within the Masoala National Park covering 10,000 ha were established in 1997, the Andreba Protected Area, protecting 32 ha of coastal habitats was given temporary protection status starting in January 2007, and between 2009 and 2011, seven LMMAs (locally managed marine areas) were established and formalized through DINA (local traditional law). In April 2012, the Executive Secretary of the Analanjirofo Regional Authority chaired the ceremony forming four new LMMAs within the District of Mananara. Two other newly formalized LMMAs were created within the District of Maroantsetra. The addition of these six new LMMAs brings the current number of locally managed marine areas established in Antongil Bay to thirteen with a total reserved area of around 3270 ha.

2 Fight Against Destructive Illegal Fishing Practices Antongil Bay is the largest bay in Madagascar and is among the most productive in the Indian Ocean, serving as a mating and nursery ground for many marine species. In the early 2000s, the beach seine was introduced in the Bay and in recent years its use has increased. Beach seines are very fine mesh nets that are deployed in shallow waters, where they catch everything in their path, including young and juvenile fish and shrimp. As a result, they have been shown to cause severe depletion and crashes of fish populations in areas where they are used. Faced with this destruction, beach seining has been the subject of multi-directional control since 2005 (exchange of nets, awareness, ban on its use). Since November 2011, Analanjirofo Regional Authority, issued a new decree on the regional ban on the sale, manufacture and possession of seine nets in all six districts of its territory. A regional workshop to address its mode of implementation was organized in February 2012 by WCS and the local association PCDDBA (see next article) under the aegis of the Analanjirofo region with the participation of the Ministry of Justice, responsible for fisheries, law enforcement and local authorities, in the districts of Maroantsetra and Mananara. A new decree set up an ad hoc committee in April 2012, which will be responsible for undertaking seizures of beach seines in the district of Mananara. Another committee is expected to be set up in Maroantsetra soon. Radio broadcasting programs and two mass communication sessions on the new regional order, were conducted in the cities of Maroantsetra and Mananara, where representatives of fishermen and local authorities concerned with the problem of beach seining were invited. PCDDBA Finalist of the UNDP Equator Prize 2012 PCDDBA is a Malagasy association created on PCDDBA's mission is to "ensure the integrity of the biological, ecological, socioeconomic functions of Antongil Bay and promote the sustainable development of its surrounding areas through consistent actions and consultations. WCS nominated PCDDBA for the UNDP Equator Prize in The Equator Prize recognizes local initiatives that demonstrate leadership in advancing innovative solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The Equator Prize 2012 Technical Advisory Committee reviewed 812 nominations from 113 countries in ten languages and found the level of competition very high. PCDDBA was selected as one of the finalists, but did not win the final prize this year.

3 PCDDBA Study Tour Increasing engagement of local communities in holistic ecosystem management is essential to longterm sustainable conservation efforts. Supporting good governance and increased local management capacity is critical to sustaining this process. In order for PCDDBA to achieve organizational sustainability and become more effective advocates for local issues, a study tour in Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa and Fenerive Est was organized from February 19 to March 7, 2012 with a delegation from Antongil Bay, composed of the PCDDBA President and Vice President, two WCS staff and the Executive Secretary of Analanjirofo Regional Authority. The objectives for PCDDBA were to increase their visibility and enlarge their network of partners while learning from other community groups about organizational management and sustainability and effective communication and advocacy strategies. The Antananarivo meetings were held with UNDP, Ministry of Fisheries, Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) National Committee, French Embassy (SCAC), Alliance Voahary Gasy, SAHA Program, GAPCM (Groupement des Aquaculteurs et Pêcheurs de Crevettes de Madagascar). The Fianarantsoa and Ranomafana meetings were held with CMP (Comité Multilocal de Planification). CMP is a multi-stakeholder platform created in It brings together groups working on environment and development issues to promote collaborative ecoregional planning. Discussions with CMP members and field visits were a great source of inspiration for PCDDBA. In Fenerive Est, a consultative workshop was held with regional authorities and partners involved in marine and coastal activities. This workshop was an opportunity to communicate about PCDDBA s mission, needs and achievements, and strengthen PCDDBA s relations with regional authorities and partners. During this workshop discussions about the possibility to establish a ICZM Regional Committee were initiated. Assessment of Dugongs in Antongil Bay The dugong is a seagrass-dependant marine mammal found in tropical and subtropical coastal waters. Although dugongs occur in over 40 countries, most of these are developing economies with limited capacity to contain impacts on dugongs within sustainable levels, and population declines and local extinction have been reported for a number of areas within their range. As a signatory of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range, Madagascar represents an instrumental actor in the international effort to support the preservation of dugongs and their habitat. In cooperation with UNEP, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS), Community Centered Conservation and Madagascar Ministry of Environment and Forest, the Wildlife Conservation Society Madagascar conducted, between January and April 2012, the UNEP/CMS Dugong Questionnaire Survey in 22 villages in Antongil Bay. This survey contributes to a larger understanding of the presence of dugongs, sea turtles and dolphins in Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean as well as the human perceptions and threats inherent in their existence. 115 total surveys were completed. 43 of the fishers surveyed reported seeing dugongs, 114 said they have seen sea turtles and 108 revealed witnessing dolphins in their fishing area. The hunting of dugongs is apparently not common and even taboo among some fishers. The last sighting of a dugong was in When asked about what they would do if they caught a dugong accidentally most said they would release it (if alive), but there were significant responses indicating that some would eat or sell it.

4 NOSY BE SEASCAPE Formalization of Ankarea and Ankivonjy Marine Protected Areas Local Management Committees Nosy Be Seascape in northwest Madagascar, is part of the center of marine biodiversity of the Western Indian Ocean. The coral ecosystems of northwest Madagascar have exceptional value in terms of biodiversity, with high coral cover, a high number of coral species and high resilience to climate change. Throughout the year, whale sharks, dugongs, and healthy and abundant populations of small coastal cetaceans and marine turtles live in this seascape. The main threats to this exceptional marine biodiversity are unsustainable fishing practices, oil exploration and planned drilling, a growing tourism industry, and mangrove destruction mainly for charcoal-making. Since 2010, WCS has been working with local communities and the government in the Nosy Be Seascape to create and manage, on behalf of the Ministry of Environment, two new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), covering 70,000 hectares of critical habitats. The Ankarea MPA, 50 kilometers northeast of Nosy Be, includes one large island, Nosy Mitsio, as well as an archipelago of 16 neighboring islands. The Ankivonjy MPA, 50 kilometers southwest of Nosy Be, includes the coastal ecosystems of Ampasindava peninsula and marine ecosystems between the islands of Nosy Iranja and Ankazoberavina. During this process, WCS and its partners have been conducting intensive consultations and discussions with communities and all stakeholders. This has led to the creation of the Ankarea and Ankivonjy MPA Local Management Committees with members that include representatives of each village, private tourist operators, and local authorities. These Local Management Committees were given legal status on January 23, 2012 when they were recognized as associations: Association Ankivonjy and Association Ankarea. Their goals are to: 1) preserve, protect, and manage natural resources of the MPA; 2) promote the sustainable development of fisheries and tourism; 3) manage conflicts arising from the use of natural resources in the MPA; 4) protect common interests in the area of the MPA; and 5) improve the living standards of communities in the area of the MPA. The first Local Management Committee s General Meetings for each MPA took place in April 2012 followed by an information campaign in each village on the roles and missions of these new committees.

5 TOLIARA SEASCAPE Mitigate Artisanal Hunting Pressure on Coastal Dolphins In southwest Madagascar traditional Vezo fishermen opportunistically hunt coastal dolphins for local consumption and sale of meat. Initially, a single community (Anakao and surrounding villages) was identified as practicing a drive hunt on pods of spinner, Indo- Pacific bottlenose and Indo- Pacific humpback dolphins. Through a series of workshops and conservation actions since 2007, WCS facilitated the establishment of the community-based Anakao Association for the Protection of Whales and Dolphins (the FMTF, a Malagasy acronym), the development of local traditional laws (DINA) related to cetacean conservation, and the creation of an education and awareness raising program in the local villages. In 2010 WCS conducted a long-range vessel survey and interview survey along a 1000 km stretch of coast north of Anakao to assess the extent of dolphin hunting. We established that the drive hunt tradition is widespread along this coast, but is practiced by a few specific communities. Thus WCS s goal in this region is to extend our conservation actions to these villages by replicating the successful model we developed in Anakao. In February 2012, we began this effort in the Andavadoaka region of Madagascar, by conducting, in collaboration with Blue Ventures the first outreach workshop on dolphin conservation. This first workshop was well received and resulted in the development of a community-led action plan to address and mitigate dolphin hunting and by-catch in the region.

6 Tahosoa and Soariake General Meetings One of the biggest reef complexes in the world extends 458 km between Androaka and Morombe in southwest Madagascar. Pressure on this seascape has increased dramatically in recent years with a continuing increase in the number of people living in the region, increasing market demand for marine products and climate change impacts. WCS s overall objective in Toliara is to improve fisheries management and promote conservation measures that are essential for the survival of this ecosystem and ensure that the livelihoods of the village communities that depend on it are sustainable. We implemented community management of fisheries within the municipalities of Manombo and Saint Augustin, where we established 18 temporary closed marine reserves, formalized through DINA and managed by local association Soariake in Manombo and the local association Tahosoa in Saint Augustin. In early 2012, these associations organized their annual general meetings with representatives of all villages, local authorities, private operators and other key stakeholders. These meetings are important since participants assess the functioning and progress during the past year and identify strategic orientation and an action plan for the following year. During the Tahosoa general meeting, discussions focused mainly on the need to improve the synergy among stakeholders in the area through an integrated coastal management approach. It was decided that Saint Augustin municipality authorities will establish an integrated coastal management committee whose role and mission will be to ensure better coordination of development and conservation projects and initiatives in the Saint Augustin coastal zone. During the Soariake general meeting, discussions focused on activities to implement in 2012, and a plan to obtain definitive protection status for the Salary Bay Marine Protected Area covering 45,084 ha of critical marine habitats. Two WCS Field Staff Graduate with Master s Degrees Congratulations to Bebe Jean RAHARINOSY and Toky VOAJANAHARY, WCS Toliara seascape field staff, who recently graduated from Toliara University IHSM (Madagascar Fishery and Marine Science Institute). They successfully defended they Master degree theses in December Bebe Jean s and Toky s research theses focused on community based management of marine resources in southwest Madagascar.

7 NATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEVEL Coral Disease Associated with Bleaching in Madagascar Analysis of remote sensing images from satellites indicated that sea surface temperatures were increasing in early 2012 north of Madagascar in the so-called WIO coral triangle. A task force was thus mobilised to undertake the surveys and sampling needed to assess the extent of coral bleaching in the affected area. Justin Hart from the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) in South Africa joined this task force to assess, with the assistance of WCS, levels of coral disease off the northeast coast of Madagascar in Antongil Bay, the target area, and the northwest coast around the Mitsio islands as an unaffected control. Preliminary results indicate, as predicted, that coral bleaching was more prevalent in the targeted area in comparison to the west coast control site, and that disease prevalence was greater in areas where coral bleaching occurred. Detailed laboratory analysis of the coral samples will be conducted at ORI to determine the types and prevalence of coral disease. International Coral Reef Initiative General Meeting WCS Madagascar shared lessons learned from its climate change and coral reef conservation program to the 26 th General Meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). ICRI is a partnership among governments, international organizations, and non-government organizations. It strives to preserve coral reefs and related ecosystems. The third General Meeting under the French-Samoan co-secretariat was held from the December 2011, in La Réunion. In an effort to improve regional cooperation and enhance the regional focus of ICRI's work, a full day of the ICRI General Meeting has been devoted to issues in the Indian Ocean Region. Read more: Madagascar to Develop Fisheries Strategy Madagascar is leading the way among Indian Ocean countries by developing a national policy on marine fisheries which takes into account the principles of good governance. The Wildlife Conservation Society is a member of the Marine NGO Platform which is chairing one of the four commissions that have been established to support the process of developing this strategy. Read more: WCS Research Findings in the Press Leaders urged to curb climate vulnerability, Eco Voice, December, In a new scientific paper and book, leading marine researchers Dr. Josh Cinner of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University, and Tim McClanahan of the Wildlife Conservation Society propose a novel framework for helping millions of people most at risk to cope with massive changes in their jobs, lives, and environment driven by the warming climate. Based on a study of 1500 households in 29 coastal communities fringing the east African coast and islands of the western Indian Ocean, including Madagascar, the researchers have developed a method for identifying the communities most vulnerable to climate change and prioritizing actions at local, national and international levels to help them. Read more:

8 Marine Mammals on the Menu in Many Parts of World, ScienceDaily, January 24, Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Okapi Wildlife Associates have conducted an exhaustive global study of human consumption of marine mammals using approximately 900 sources of information. Overall, the historical review reveals an escalation in the utilization of smaller cetaceans, particularly coastal and estuarine species since 1970, often caught as accidental "bycatch" in nets meant for fish and other species. Once caught, however, small cetaceans are being increasingly utilized as food in areas of food insecurity and/or poverty, including Madagascar. Read more: Southern Indian Ocean Humpback Whales Found Singing Different Tunes, ScienceDaily, February 1, A recently published study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and others reveals that humpback whales on both sides of the southern Indian Ocean are singing different tunes, unusual since humpbacks in the same ocean basin usually all sing very similar songs. The authors say that the differences most likely indicate a limited exchange between whale populations in the waters off Madagascar and western Australia and may shed new light on how whale culture spreads. Read more: Study IDs New Marine Protected Areas for Madagascar, ScienceDaily, February 24, A new study by the University of California, Berkeley, Wildlife Conservation Society, and others uses a new scientific methodology for establishing marine protected areas in Madagascar that offers a "diversified portfolio" of management options -- from strict no-take zones to areas that would allow fishing. The methodology looks at existing information on the country's biodiversity and climate vulnerability, along with dependence on fisheries and marine resources, and applies three different planning approaches to establish priorities for management along the entirety of Madagascar's west coast. Read more: One Solution to Global Overfishing Found, ScienceDaily, March 19, A study by the Wildlife Conservation Society, ARC Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and other groups on more than 40 coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans indicates that "co-management" -- a collaborative arrangement between local communities, conservation groups, and governments -- provides a solution to a vexing global problem: overfishing. The finding is the outcome of the largest field investigation of co-managed tropical coral reef fisheries ever conducted, an effort in which researchers studied 42 managed reef systems in five countries. Read more: WCS Madagascar Marine Program is grateful to the following for financial support of our work: Wildlife Conservation Society, Madagascar Marine Program, BP 8500 Soavimbahoaka, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar, ,

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