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"The Rock That Gives Life"
£1,100 raised
110% of £1k goal
30 contributors
3 Years running

Throughout the course of 2016, ReefDoctor has been hard at work researching and preparing for the construction of the first artificial reef in the Bay of Ranobe. But we really need your help and generosity to raise the remaining funds needed to expand the system, and to care for it for years to come. And here’s why…..

ReefDoctor is an NGO located in the Bay of Ranobe in Toliara, the poorest region in southwest Madagascar. The majority of the population in the area depends on marine resources to sustain their lives, but sadly, these resources are limited due to a number of factors including reef degradation and over fishing, leaving these people with even fewer choices than before. Since its establishment in 2001, ReefDoctor has been working with the local community to implement projects that assist the recovery of the reefs and, in recent years, to provide alternative livelihoods to those reliant on fishing as their principle source of nutrition and income.

Our new artificial reef project plans to install simple, relatively low-cost and replicable artificial reef structures on degraded reef sites to increase fish and invertebrate populations in order to improve fisheries productivity, reverse declining catches and redirect fishing pressure off over-exploited fragile coral reefs in the lagoon interior. We also intend to speed up the regeneration of corals reefs at these sites by transplanting coral fragments from our nurseries on to the artificial structures as part of our coral gardening project.

Our pilot artificial reef project aims to construct a reef that will attract life to a previously almost deserted area of the traditional Anatirano fishing ground. Using 21 tons of limestone rock sourced from local quarries and 25 concrete tubes manufactured locally, the team consisting of fishermen from the village of Ifaty and ReefDoctor staff, interns and volunteers will begin construction of the reef following the official launch of the project and blessing of the site on 21st October.

A huge event will take place in the village of Ifaty on Friday 28th October, which will be attended by the Mayor of Belalanda and the Minister of Fisheries and the day will include traditional dance, songs from the ReefDoctor Juniors and traditional sporting events.

We have called this artificial reef, Vato Mahavelo, meaning, “the rock that gives life” in Vezo dialect and the aim of the project is to do just that. The goal of Vato Mahavelo is to increase marine life in the fishing grounds and encourage new reef growth in order to provide an alternative productive fishing ground for local fishing communities. With your help, the community and ReefDoctor can make this a reality.

Work on Vato Mahavelo will continue long after construction, with regular coral transplanting, cleaning, monitoring and surveying dives. The site will be managed by the local fishing association to ensure sustainable fishing practices. The community is very dedicated to making this project work and many people stand to benefit if Vato Mahavelo lives up to it’s name, but we need more than dedication to bring life back to the area. We need your generous donations!

With your donations and help, Vato Mahavelo can grow into a reef that will change and better the lives of the local people for years to come. Please consider donating anything you can. In the Bay of Ranobe, even the littlest bit can make a world of difference.

For more project information, check out our blog:

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