|Date||14 Aug 2001|
There are six species of crayfish in Madagascar, all are endemic to the island and most are probably threatened with extinction. The people in the areas where these crayfish live are subsistence rice-farmers, and crayfish harvesting is extremely important to them, both economically and as a source of protein. However, over-harvesting, combined with deforestation, has resulted in populations being lost.
This project will explore ways to increase the sustainability of crayfish exploitation. It will focus on social issues and will run alongside a scientific crayfish research programme. By involving local communities in every stages of the study it is hoped to arrive at an acceptable way of ensuring sustainable harvesting.
Crayfish are fast growing with relatively high rates of reproduction so changes in harvesting practice should be quickly seen in the population. Increasing the minimum size of individuals harvested and preventing harvesting during the breeding season could quickly benefit both the crayfish populations and the catches of local fishermen.