The 09th of April, 2016, a repopulation session of the mangrove in the village of Ambotsibotsiky, in the rural municipality of Belalanda (in the North of Toliara) was held under the patronage of the Minister of Industry and the Development of the Private Sector, Mr Narson Rafidimanana in charge of the interim of the Ministry of Fisheries and Fish Resources. This event was also sponsored by the Head of the South-West Region, the colonel Rabe Jules. Several personalities were present, among which two General Secretaries of the Ministry of Industry and two other ones of the Ministry of Fisheries and Fish Resources. Divers private operators, companies and NGOs affiliated with the sea and the fishery resources were present. But one of the most involved entities were the local communities among which those part of the «Mamelo Honko » association, in charge of the management and protection of the mangorves in this area, as well as the NGO Honko based in the village and working closely with the rural population.
Being the only Institution training and providing high education in the field of fishery, marine and coastal environment management in Madagascar, it was more than expected for the IH.SM to be present and to actively participate in this event. Our team lead by Dr. Jamal Mahafina, Chief of the Training Department was composed by the administrative staff and students from different level.
Rhizophora mucronata was the specie utilized for this repopulation. Its seeds are viviparous and start to develop while still attached to the tree. The root then begins to elongate. The propagule then detaches from the branch when it is sufficiently well developed to root in the mud below. Pre collected mature propagules were used. Mr Josepha, technician within the NGO took the time to explain the repopulation method to the attendance. Propagules are to be planted within 1 meter of interval, one third of it sunk into the ground.
This repopulation session is a reminder on how vital mangroves are for the sea and costal environment as well as for the communities considering the sea as their first source of income. In fact, this ecosystem suffers heavy natural and anthropogenic pressure, namely climate change and deforestation. For that reason, sensitization and lobying should always be done to inform on the importance of the conservation of this natural ressource. Local communities are integrated into the management of the mangroves in the area by their involvement in the Mamelo Honko association. This should decrease any risk of over exploitation and promote its sustainable exploitation.