Artificial Reefs as a Solution to Over Fishing in SW Madagascar
My name is mister Bruno Keza Souvenir. I live in Ifaty If we talk about life when I was young compared to now in terms of fish… The production here in Ifaty was great before; there were a lot of fish. Now, as we speak, there are very few fish very small yield. Fish habitat is not proportional to the number of people who exploit it. People are resorting to bad practices. Those people are not just Vezo (local people) but other ethnicities as well. The true Vezo go fishing far away. But the others, who cannot go so far, look for alternatives, like beach seines. I’m the President of the Fimihara Association. The Association was founded on 7th February 2009 and has been operating ever since. 13 villages are part of the Association, from Fitsitike to Belitsake. We decided to build a house for fish. It’s called a house for fish in Malagasy, but for everyone, it’s called Vato Mahavelo, or the rock that gives life. When we first decided to build an artificial reef we thought to put it in the MPA (marine protected area). In the MPA, there are already a lot of fish, and if there are already a lot of fish, they can colonize the artificial reef. There are a lot of artificial reefs, there is not one alone, but there are many so we don’t have to go farther to fish. There are many people working with us, especially Reef Doctor who really work with us at Fimihara. Reef Doctor provides technical support and follow-ups. They know the best techniques for building and monitoring the artificial reefs. The artificial reefs are working, there are a lot of fish. Before there were no more fish, now there are some. The artificial reef brought the fish back, because since we built it, the fish have settled and reproduced there. We should implement long-term protection of marine resources. We should consider all things in the long-term because our future depends on it.