Posted by: thewideblueyonder | December 5, 2008

Madagascar:Running Short On Sharks

More bad shark news this morning:

TOLIARA, December 2008 (IRIN) – Coastal communities in southwestern Madagascar, who risk their lives travelling long distances in dugout canoes to supply a lucrative demand for shark fins, face an uncertain future as unsustainable fishing practices threaten the survival of the marine resources on which they depend.

People in villages along the southwestern coast are reporting a dramatic decrease in all marine resources. “Around 2000 the decline really started here. The octopus catch fell and sea cucumbers disappeared. Some fish species also disappeared,” Roger Samba, in the village of Andavadoaka, in Toliara Province, told IRIN.

“It is difficult to catch enough fish to sell. People go far away, fishing from early in the morning until late at night, to catch not even 10kg or 20kg of fish – just 5kg.”

When shark fisherman Zoffe loads his nets into his pirogue (a dugout canoe, often with a sail) in the morning and sets out from his home in the coastal town of Morombe into the deep waters of the Mozambique Channel, he knows that he will be lucky if he catches anything.

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