Ankarea Marine Protected Area

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The Ankarea Marine Protected Area (MPA) is located in the northern Mozambique Channel off the northwestern Madagascar coast. The area is known for having the highest richness in coral species in the Western Indian Ocean.

Ankarea Marine Protected Area comprises the large island of Nosy Mitsio and an archipelago of 16 smaller islands.

Amongst the aims of the Ankarea Marine Protected Area is "the conservation of resources that are heavily used in the area such as sea cucumbers" (see article below). Locals are allowed to harvest sea cucumbers on a small scale, usually near the shore on foot or in small pirogues. Large-scale fishing with modern instruments such as oxygen tanks is forbidden. Due to the high demand of sea cucumbers in Asia, to where the dried catch is exported, illegal sea cucumber fishing poses a serious threat to the coral reefs in the Ankarea region. Regular patrols organised by the Madagascar Ministry of Fisheries and local communities aim to prevent the illegal fishing activities.

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