Stories from our Blog
This is a selection of stories from our blog - click here to read all of our blogs and latest news.
by Sylvia Paulot and Kate England, Blue Forests team, Madagascar
A local woman gathering salted fish for sale to local collector
After winding its way west, Madagascar’s Tsiribihina River empties into the Mozambique Channel in a maze of tributaries entwined with mangroves. At the end of last year, Sylvia and Kate of Blue Venture’s Blue Forests team made their way north to the Tsiribihina Delta, meeting with WWF Madagascar, local partners, and communities who have all worked together on mangrove conservation here since 2011. Our goal was to initiate a relationship with these communities and start a feasibility study for blue carbon in the Tsiribihina Delta – where people truly live a mangrove lifestyle – from fish and wood to storm protection – the people here are linked with the mangrove forest at every turn.
by Kirsty Rankin, BV volunteer, Madagascar
Waking up to the relentless crash of breaking waves on halfmoon beach, I groan, turn over, but just before I close my eyes to the temptation of continued slumber I catch the dim glow of red streaking the dawn. From my bunk, through the patch work castings of the mosquito net, the door of our shared hut frames the beginnings of yet another cracking Gassy sunrise. It’s 6am. Pulling on a damp wetsuit is not my idea of an early morning wake up call, but my morning grump rolls off my back as I climb the dunes behind our huts to watch the sun break over the horizon, bathing Andavadoaka and Costa del BV in the most surreal pink glow. Never put off by thousands of clone photographs I shoot a few more, determined one will capture what is before me with honesty (it never does) and head off to the Bat cave to suit up for my double dawn dive.
by Alasdair Harris, Research Director, UK
Traditional fishing boat, Madagascar
This post first appeared on the @SynchEarth blog on 5 April 2013
Easter weekend saw the end of the UK government’s 3-month public consultation on the designation of new marine conservation areas around the coasts of England and Wales.
by Taylor Mayol, Communications and Programme Development Officer, Madagascar
BV works with fishermen who are traditionally dependent on the sea for their cultural identity and subsistence, to run sea cucumber farms, which provide a lucrative source of income and offer an alternative to relying on dwindling marine resources. The strangeness of the concept of farming sea cucumbers is pretty much a microcosm of my experience so far in this fairly schizophrenic and unique country, which is quite far from “Africa” in both the literal and figurative sense.
by Shawn Peabody, Country Director, Madagascar
Examples of coastal communities coming together to take on overfishing and reduce destructive fishing aren't too hard to find. In nearly every region there are good examples of these "positive deviants", as the literature calls them, where people have figured out ways to work together for their common good. Below is a map showing locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs) in the Indian and Pacific oceans. As you can see, there are hundreds! (to find out more about LMMAs, please click here).
By Lison Garrel, Safidy (Community Health) Programme Coordinator, Belo sur Mer
Lison on a pirogue in the Belo sur Mer area
My involvement with Blue Ventures started at the beginning of 2013, with a two-month mission to Belo sur Mer on Madagascar’s west coast. The aim: to conduct an assessment of reproductive health needs in order to explore the feasibility of replicating the Safidy programme in the Belo sur Mer area. For this, I was looking to collect baseline data about sexual health knowledge as well as access to and uptake of family planning services. After gathering some information from the district medical inspector, commune mayor, village leaders and health workers, it was time to directly consult the local communities about their health needs!