Key Information:

Ministry in charge:

Ministry of Fisheries and Blue Economy (Ministère de la Pêche et de l’Economie Bleue)

Agencies involved:

Madagascar has embraced an inclusive and participatory approach to the development of the blue economy and ocean governance. Notably, this approach extends to discussions, project and program design, as well as the validation of policies and strategies. To this end, a multi-sectoral national coordinating committee for the blue economy and ocean governance has been set up and is up and running. This committee brings together the public sector, the private sector, civil society organizations and NGOs working in the field of the blue economy and ocean governance in Madagascar.

As part of the Glolitter project, we are calling on this committee to ensure the implementation of the national action plan. But more specifically, agencies are directly concerned according to their attributions and missions as:


Madagascar, the fourth-largest island globally, boasts a sprawling surface area of 590,000 km2. Home to approximately 27,500,000 inhabitants, the island relies significantly on the fishing sector as one of a crucial income generator. Bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east and the Mozambique Channel to the west, Madagascar's geographic isolation as an island-state is evident, flaunting an extensive coastline spanning 5,603 km.

However, its natural splendor and economic potential, Madagascar grapples with the pressing issue of sea-based marine plastic litter, necessitating immediate attention. The vast maritime region under Madagascar's jurisdiction, around 1,141,000 km2 for EEZ, witnesses fishing operations as the primary culprit behind sea-based marine plastic litter. These fishing activities are carried out by both domestic and foreign vessels, which, unfortunately, operate without adequate regulations or guidance on fishing gear marking, leading to a surge in Abandoned, Lost, or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear problems.

To address this pressing concern and curb the adverse impacts of sea-based marine plastic litter and Abandoned, Lost, or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear, Madagascar is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive national policy on maritime transportation. Such a policy seeks to establish stringent guidelines and regulations for transportation and fishing practices within its waters to ensure sustainable fishing and marine conservation. By implementing responsible fishing practices and fostering international cooperation, Madagascar aims to preserve its pristine marine environment for future generations, safeguard its fishing industry's prosperity, and reinforce its commitment to environmental stewardship on a global scale.

Ports in Madagascar:

Madagascar has nineteen ports with sixteen functional and eight open to international shipping. They are classified as Ports of National Interest and Ports of Regional Interest. Ports of National Interest are subject to two specific management modes, namely: an autonomous management mode, hence the name "Autonomous Management Ports" and a non-autonomous management mode with a global concession, hence the term "Ports à Concession Globale".

The key focus areas within the port sub-sector, overseen by the relevant agency, encompass the following priority actions:

  • Enhancing port infrastructures and maritime signal facilities to bolster efficiency and capacity.
  • Revitalizing deteriorated infrastructures to ensure their optimal functionality.
  • Aligning Madagascar's international ports with the International Ship and Port Facility Security standards to bolster security measures.
  • Undertaking comprehensive institutional reforms within the ports in accordance with the government's policy guidelines.
  • Formulating and implementing a Master Plan tailored to Madagascar's port development and expansion needs.


Madagascar has developed public policies to promote the fishing and aquaculture sector in order to support economic growth and meet the population's food needs. Fishing in Madagascar's extensive maritime area may be the primary origin of sea-based marine plastic litter. This includes participation from both domestic and foreign vessels. The key factor leading to issues with Abandoned, Lost, or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear is the lack of proper regulations or guidance on the marking of fishing equipment. Rectifying this oversight is crucial for mitigating environmental impacts and promoting sustainable fishing practices in the region. Implementing effective measures to regulate fishing gear and foster responsible fishing practices will play a vital role in combatting the Abandoned, Lost, or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear problem and safeguarding the marine ecosystem.

Sea-Based Marine Plastic Litter Regulations:

Madagascar has ratified MARPOL Annex V, the London Protocol, but these instruments are not entirely implemented under the current legislation on shipping and on fisheries. A draft new Maritime Transport Code is under development and it contains provisions implementing MARPOL Annex V and the London Protocol.

Port State Measures Agreements in Madagascar:

Madagascar recognizes the critical role of the Port State Measures Agreement in curbing illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities within its maritime domain. As an island nation with extensive coastlines and vast marine resources, Madagascar understands the importance of sustainable fisheries management and the preservation of its marine ecosystems.

To combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, Madagascar actively participates in regional and international efforts to implement the Port State Measures Agreement. By doing so, the country aims to strengthen port controls and enhance monitoring mechanisms at its ports. The Port State Measures Agreement allows Madagascar to prevent vessels involved in illegal fishing from entering its ports, inspect suspicious shipments, and take appropriate enforcement actions against violators.

Fishing and Aquaculture Code in Madagascar:

Madagascar's Fishing and Aquaculture Code stands as a comprehensive legal framework that governs the nation's fishing and aquaculture sectors. Designed to promote sustainable practices and ensure the responsible management of marine resources, the code serves as a fundamental tool for safeguarding the marine environment and supporting the livelihoods of coastal communities.

The code outlines regulations for fishing vessel licensing, catch quotas, and fishing methods to prevent overexploitation of fish stocks. It promotes ecosystem-based management approaches, considering the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and the interconnectedness of species.

In addition to resource conservation, the Fishing and Aquaculture Code places emphasis on the development of the aquaculture sector. By supporting responsible aquaculture practices, Madagascar aims to enhance food security, create employment opportunities, and reduce pressure on wild fish stocks.

IMO & FAO Regulations: