Traditional Fisheries of Antongil Bay, Madagascar
Madagascar’s marine fisheries provide revenue and sustenance for the island nation. Antongil Bay, the largest shallow-water bay along Madagascar’s eastern coast, harbors significant marine resources and is heavily utilized by traditional, artisanal (shark-fin) and industrial fisheries. Mean hourly catch rates are just under 1 kg/hour/fisher and mean daily catch rates are 4.4 kg/day/fisher. Beach seines, tamis (fine mesh seines), and combined use of gillnet and line were the most efficient gear types in terms of hourly and daily catch rates while gillnet and line were the most common gear types employed. Catch composition included 140 fish species from 69 families. Overall catch was dominated by species from Scombridae and Carangidae (Atule mate, Decapterus russelli, Megalaspis cordyla, Rastrilliger kanagurta). The Bay appears to be an important breeding habitat for scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and other species in the family Carcharhinidae. Given the multi-species and multi-sector nature of this fishery, ecosystembased management, wherein sensitive habitats are protected and limits are placed on destructive gear, is recommended, along with a zoning program to control resource-use overlap and encourage ownership.
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