2018 Dugong Festival
Some sites in the northwestern region of Madagascar are recognized as hunting areas of Dugongs. Many of these animals were killed accidentally by fishing nets. In some cases, they are killed voluntarily. In the past ten years, the Dugongs are getting less and less visible between the area of Mahajamba Bay and Ambaro Bay. This is a sign the population of this animal is decreasing in the marine waters of the Big Island due to seagrass degradation and the intensification of hunting.
MIHARI network obtained some funding from the GEF program to implement a project entitled “Behavioral change through awareness and capacity building of the fishermen for the conservation of Dugongs and seagrasses, by using the network at the level of the LMMA or locally managed marine areas.”
A first edition was hold in Nosy Berafia in 2016. This year, MIHARI is continuing these efforts by focusing on objectives such as strengthening the people’s knowledge of the Dugong; as well as raising the awareness of the fishing communities on the importance of Dugong and seagrass and the practice of sustainable fishing.
Due to the damages caused by Hurricane Eliakim, the network has postponed the festival which had to take place in Nosy Be on March 22nd. The 2018 edition of the Dugong Festival will be finally held on April 25th in Nosy Be, Madagascar and will be included in the MIHARI Northwestern Regional Workshop program.