He loves the sea but remains down to earth… Randriatahina Edmond is a passionate Malagasy fisherman, aware of the stakes of non-adequate fishing practices. His only wish? That fishermen start switching to better alternatives.

Not like before!

edmond fishermen FPAOIIt was back in 1990. Edmond, who has a degree in Natural Sciences, was fascinated by the sea and decided to set aside his area of expertise to become a fisherman. At the time, this occupation was very rewarding. Fishermen could easily reach a daily catch of up to 800 kg! These times are unfortunately long gone. Now, on good days, the catch amounts to only 40 kg. Sometimes they come back empty handed… Climate change, overfishing and especially illegal fishing have radically influenced the situation.

“A lot of fishermen engage in destructive fishing methods; using mesh nets, or practicing inshore fishing,” Edmond explains.

Randriatahina Edmond has learned a lot about fishing practices. In an effort to contribute to the advancement of fishing practices for a better future, Edmond became a trainer.

A helping hand from the FPAOI

To reinforce a forward-looking vision for the fishing industry, the Federation of Artisanal Fishermen of the Indian Ocean (FPAOI) is committed to helping the region’s fishermen through the SWIOFISH2 project.

In addition to promoting offshore fishing – which protects smaller coastal fish – this project includes training on sustainable management of fisheries resources, or better management of fishermen’s waste to improve catches…

And it’s working! Edmond explains:

“We have indeed noticed that, since these training sessions, fish catches are starting to increase. Raising awareness for the protection, reforestation and restoration of mangroves is also bearing fruit! Fishermen are finally recognising the importance of mangroves, where we can finally find crabs, shrimps and fish again!

What is next?

For Edmond, the future of the fisheries sector in Madagascar is filled with hope. He believes that continuing the training and awareness-raising activities can only be beneficial. Numerous FPAOI workshops will contribute to strengthen the knowledge and skills acquired.

“Whenever I go fishing on the north-western side of Mahajanga, I often encounter other fishermen. A lot of them still fish like their grandfathers, with inadequate methods. So we still need to raise awareness and convince them that they should adopt new fishing techniques,” Edmond says.

This promising goal is already on the right track, thanks to this ambitious fisherman, along with the supporting federations and associations!