Interview surveys in the municipalities of Anakao and Befandefa, located in South West Madagas- car, have previously identified threats to dolphin populations from directed hunting and incidental by-catch. WCS has been working directly with communities since 2007 to educate the people and develop conservation measures to mitigate dolphin mortality.
Two community associations were created in each area respectively in 2008 and in 2013 to promote the protection of marine mammals. In the Anakao area, a community as- sociation (FMTF) was created to promote the pro- tection of marine mammals the communities elaborated a local convention or Dina to reinforce protection of marine mammals. Community- based whale watching was developed locally with the technical support of WCS for the training of local guides on the knowledge of the cetaceans and codes of good conduct for approaching whales.
The number of tourists using the services of local whale watching tours increased annually in Anakao, from 143 tourists in 2010 to 1,197 in
2012, with revenue of 47,880,000 Ariary (ap- proximately USD 21,000) brought into the com- munity in 2012. In 2013 FMTF was awarded a USD 25,000 grant from UNDP Small Grant Pro- gram to strengthen marine mammal conservation in Anakao area. In the municipality of Befandefa, the same strategy is currently being applied, with the current status being the recent creation of a new association for the protection of marine mammals.