+44 (0)207 697 8598

Hundreds Turn Out to Take Advantage of Large Octopus Catches During Reopening of Andavadoaka’s First Community-run Octopus No-take Zone

Between 700 to 1,000 people, traveling in more than 130 pirogue canoes, descended on Nosy Fasy island today during the reopening of the region’s first community-run no-take zone (NTZ).

While final data of the number of octopus caught by villagers has not yet been fully analysed, anecdotal evidence suggests the catches were generally larger than before the NTZ was implemented, and villagers expresses great satisfaction with the day’s fishing results.

The NTZ was launched eight months earlier, on 1st November 2004, by Blue Ventures, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the fishing company Copefrito. The NTZ, which closed the area to octopus fishing, is aimed at not only promoting the long-term survival of octopus species but also at increasing the catch of local fishers.

Blue Ventures scientists collected data throughout the day on the number and size of octopus caught. A full analysis of the results will be available on Blue Ventures’ website in the coming months.

Initial data shows that individual octopus caught ranged from a few hundred grams to 5.5 kg. Preliminary results also indicate that the village fishing cooperative collected about 670 kg of octopus. In addition Copefrito collected 118kg and the fishing company Murex collected 70kg. It is estimated that the fishermen caught over 1 tonne of octopus in total. It was also reported that Nosy Hao collected 100 kg and a similar amount is estimated for Ampasilava.

Villagers said they were happy with the results of the NTZ, and the number of fishers who descended on the site from surrounding villagers suggests the fishing was especially good.

Armada’s of pirogues began arriving at Nosy Fasy at 7:30 in the morning. Many pirogues carried entire families of three to four generations, with some pirogues holding up to 14 people. There were also smaller groups of older men in single 2-metre pirogues and younger men diving with masks

Village elders performed a traditional fomba ceremony at 9 am to offer red rum to ancestral spirits, so they would not be surprised to see so many fishers on the reef.

Keep visiting this website for more more information about the reopening, and other recent developments with the Andavadoaka project.