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FISHERIES, TRADE AND CLIMATE CHANGE IN MADAGASCAR

  1. Climate change impacts on fisheries and coastal marine areas

Madagascar posess 300,000 ha of mangroves and about 3,450 kms of coral reefs, including the Grand Reef around Toliara in the southwest (Cooke et al. 2003). Mangrove forests protect communities living on the coastline from cyclones and storm surges, and constitute critical breeding and feeding grounds for diverse marine species. Additionally, they also provide timber and fuel wood for coastal communities, which contributes to their degradation in many areas, along with siltization resulting from the effects of climate change.

Small scale traditional fisheries are critically important to food security, accounting for 20% of the national consumption of proteins and the livelihoods of 100,000 fishermen and their families (De Schutter 2011).  The effects of climate change on offshore fish stocks have forced fisherfolks to travel longer distances to new fishing grounds, with the associated needs for material and financial assistance for securing the necessary equipment (e.g. motors) to do so; to look for additional livelihoods, and, in some cases to convert to agriculture (CI and WWF 2008).  Climate change-induced stresses coupled with over-fishing increase the vulnerability of fishing communities.

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