Posted on 22 April 2018
"Our community organization is piloting the entire coastline for this community smoking initiative"
To cope with the vagaries of the sea, improve their daily lives and enhance their community reserves, fishers from the Mahafaly coast have embarked on a new challenge: the production and sale of smoked tuna.
The villages of Befasy and Maromena have a total of seven ovens for smoking tuna.
Mrs. Evelyne, 40, is one of 20 women in the community who have invested in this new activity. "I started this adventure because I think it's an interesting financial opportunity, in addition to seaweed farming. Our first production reached 31 kilos. At 20,000 ariary for a kilo (about 5 euros), it's a pretty good sign!” she explains.
Mrs. Evelyne's optimism is in line with the wishes of the 20 people of the cooperative in Befasy-Maromena, who decided improve their fishing practices.
With the support of WWF, the ovens were installed in the cooperative and volunteers among the cooperative contributed to buy the smoking wood, salt and packaging. Once a month, the villagers go up to the town of Toliara to sell their smoked tuna. A hotel near their village is also one of their regular customers.
"Our community organization, velonandriake ("living in the sea" in English), is piloting the entire coastline for this community smoking initiative," says Théodore Dieudonné, president of the cooperative. "We men go fishing for tuna and take the wood, and it is the women who take care of everything from the preparation of the fish to its packaging. " he added.
The "velonandriake" community has found a financial system to sustain its new activity: every two months, part of the revenue is set aside to finance tuna processing and travel expenses to Toliara. The rest is divided equally among the 20 members.