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Project Oratsimba

In a region where coastal communities depend on fishing as a core income generating activity, Project Oratsimba encourages community-based, sustainable lobster fishery management across three villages.

In southeast Madagascar, fishers navigate dangerous seas in fragile and unstable canoes for the chance to earn around £1 per day and in places like Sainte Luce, lobster fishing generates income for 80% of households. However, overfishing, illegal practices and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns have begun to threaten the security of the lobster industry and there are very few other employment opportunities in the region.

In the eighties, we would put four pots in the sea and get lots of lobster. Now, we put 25 pots in the sea and we just get half a kilo.

Community leader from Ebakika

The creation of Locally-Managed Marine Areas; areas of protected ocean that are managed by coastal communities, has proved a popular and sustainable method to protect marine biodiversity around the world. Project Oratsimba has supported the communities of Sainte Luce and Elodrato in the creation of their LMMAs. As part of a range of management measures, both communities have decided to implement a No-Take Zone, an area of key habitat where – for the majority of the year – lobster fishing does not take place, ultimately ensuring the security of lobster stock in the region. Project Oratsimba is currently supporting the community-elected committees in the management of the areas.

National lobster landings fell by more than 50% between 2006 and 2012, a situation reflected in the Anosy region.

FAO (2016)


Project Oratsimba (Phase III) has been made possible thanks to funding from Defra’s Darwin Initiative. Previous phases of the project have been funded by Blue Ventures and the FAO’s SmartFish.