Using fishers’ traditional maritime knowledge to improve small-scale fisheries management in northern Madagascar
Traditional Maritime Knowledge of fishing communities has been passed down for generations and much of this knowledge has direct implications for sustainable management of fisheries and other marine natural resources. Moreover, because the ideas come from the communities themselves, they are much more likely to be respected, as cases from the Pacific islands have illustrated. However, it can be complicated to effectively translate this traditional knowledge into formal legislature. This project will work very closely with fishing communities in northern Madagascar to understand and document their knowledge of the sea and their fisheries. Once documented, we will work with youth to disseminate the knowledge widely through theatre, song and dance in coastal villages to ensure that it is not lost for future generations. Our ultimate aim is to work with legal experts to translate traditional knowledge into the Malagasy legislature system, creating laws that local people feel like they have contributed to and are therefore more likely to comply with, thus
improving management of fishery resources in this extremely poor region of the world and thereby improving the economic, social and cultural status of several thousand coastal people.