A series of national workshops held along the west coast of Madagascar over September and early October saw a variety of small-scale fishing communities sensitised on the value of fisheries transparency for their livelihoods.
The workshops, delivered by FiTI’s national implementation partner Blue Ventures, were held in Toilara and Morombe (south-west), Mahajanga and Ambanja (north-west) and Morondava and Belo sur Mer (central-west). A total of over 80 small-scale fishers, including community leaders, attended the six workshops, as did representatives from the Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy (MoFBE). The MoFBE is the Ministry leading the implementation of the FiTI in Madagascar.
At each workshop, participants were given a poster jointly designed by the FiTI International Secretariat and Blue Ventures which explains why transparency in the management of Madagascar’s fisheries is an essential characteristic small-scale fishers should both demand and contribute to.
Greater transparency allows small-scale fishers to engage in the participatory governance of the sector, namely by:
- Taking part in informed decision-making on the management of the sector;
- Holding the government accountable for its decisions;
- Increasing public attention around the importance of their contributions to jobs, national food security, the economy and culture.
Madagascar is expected to publish its first FiTI Report next year. The report will evaluate the level of information the government publishes in line with the requirements of the FiTI Standard and summarise key information to support public understanding.
Among other tools, Blue Ventures also distributed national fisheries regulations and an official list of shrimp vessels authorised to fish in Madagascar’s EEZ at each workshop. This was the first time many of the small-scale fishing communities were introduced to the concept of fisheries transparency. The distribution of these tools, together with the poster, gave the communities practical examples of how greater transparency is of direct relevance to them.
The national workshops also served as an opportunity to encourage networking between different small-scale fisheries stakeholders in Madagascar and to promote efficient exchange of information between coastal fishing communities and the two small-scale fishing representatives that sit on the country’s National Multi-Stakeholder Group.
The organisation of the six workshops as well as design and printing of the small-scale fishing poster was made possible through a grant from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GmbH).