In recent years, there has been a global call to incorporate social science into coastal management. This supported by institutional and policy commitments to develop socioeconomic monitoring as a priority activity within marine conservation initiatives. In response to this, and with financial and technical support from Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean 8 (CORDIO), along term socioeconomic monitoring programme was implemented around the village Andavadoaka,the southwest Madagascar. The programme has been developed using the Socioeconomic Monitoring Guidelines for Coastal Managers of the Western Indian Ocean (SocMon WIO) in conjunction with the development of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) that incorporates representative areas of all local marine habitats.
The creation of an 800km2 MPA in the Andavadoaka region will directly affect 23 local villages. SocMon surveying of three of these villages, Andavadoaka, Lamboara, and Ampasilava, took place between April and July 2006. This study presents results from a household survey on material style of life, focus group
interviews on marine activities, information obtained by key informants from the local communities and direct observations by researchers.
These fishing communities are remote, with infrastructure and limited facilities and services. Andavadoaka was the largest village surveyed had the most amenities available. Most of the present infrastructure is owed to the Catholic Mission, which introduced educational and health services in the 1960s. Since then the Catholic Mission has become increasingly popular, and still has a strong influence on the villages.