Food security and ecosystem service generation of seagrass-associated small-scale fisheries: the case of southwest Madagascar
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Small-scale fisheries play globally a crucial role for food security and poverty alleviation. This is particularly true in developing countries, where people often are to a high extent depending on the resources their surrounding ecosystems have to offer. Many small-scale fisheries around the world are however under pressure, and in the need of better management. A seascape approach including all habitats has been emphasized for marine small-scale fisheries. This study is based on interviews with fishers and investigates the importance of seagrass beds for small-scale fishery households and their food security of in southwestern Madagascar. The three specific aims of this study were to: i) analyze if seagrass-associated fish contributes to subsistence and/or economy of local fishing households, ii) identify and compare seagrass ecosystem goods and services valued by local people in a rural and an urban setting and iii) analyze links between local people and seagrasses in terms of local ecological knowledge, use and traditions. The results show that seagrasses are the most important fishing habitats for most fishers, seagrass-associated fish species are both the most important and most commonly fished species, and seagrass derived fish and invertebrates are highly important daily sources of animal protein. The highest valued seagrass ecosystem goods and services are the provision of fishing grounds and the provision of food and income for the communities in general. These findings illustrate that seagrasses contribute both through subsistence and income generation to food security and wellbeing of coastal people in southwestern Madagascar. Therefore, there is a need to consider seagrass ecosystems in management of small-scale fisheries, to build more resilient small-scale fisheries which can sustain food security for future generations.
seascape management, seagrass, provision of fish, ecosystem services, subsistence, income
Research subject Marine Ecotoxicology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141045DiVA: diva2:1085459