Coastal Dolphins

Antongil bay seascape represents some of the largest expanse of continuous pristine coastal habitat in Madagascar, with high marine productivity and diversity. Surrounded by lush tropical forests, Antongil Bay is the largest and most productive bay in the Western Indian Ocean also serving as a mating and nursery ground for many marine species such as sharks and humpback whales. The bay is globally important for its role as a mating ground for humpback whales, and is one of the largest and best-studied wintering sites in the Indian Ocean. Research in Antongil Bay suggests that the population of humpback whales utilizing the Bay is composed of approximately 7000 individuals and is continuing to recover from depletion by commercial whaling that occurred in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The bay contains many marine habitats: estuaries, mangroves, rocky shores, highly resilient coral reefs, and seagrass beds. 19 species of sharks, marine turtles, dugongs and at least 11 species of cetaceans are reported in the bay and adjacent offshore region.