February 14, 2012
In southwest Madagascar traditional Vezo fishermen opportunistically hunt coastal dolphins for local consumption and sale of meat. Initially, a single community (Anakao and surrounding villages) was identified as practicing a drive hunt on pods of spinner, Indo- Pacific bottlenose and Indo- Pacific humpback dolphins. Through a series of workshops and conservation actions since 2007, WCS facilitated the establishment of the commu- nity-based Anakao Association for the Protection of Whales and Dolphins (the FMTF, a Malagasy acronym), the development of local traditional laws (DINA)
related to cetacean conservation, and the creation of an education and awareness raising program in the local villages. In 2010 WCS conducted a long-range vessel survey and interview survey along a 1000 km stretch of coast north of Anakao to assess the extent of dolphin hunting. We es- tablished that the drive hunt tradition is widespread along this coast, but is practiced by a few spe- cific communities. Thus WCS’s goal in this region is to extend our conservation actions to these villages by replicating the successful model we developed in Anakao. In February 2012, we began this effort in the Andavadoaka region of Madagascar, by conducting, in collaboration with Blue Ven- tures the first outreach workshop on dolphin conservation. This first workshop was well received and resulted in the development of a community-led action plan to address and mitigate dolphin hunting and by-catch in the region.