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Human Health and Well-Being

human healthMadagascar exemplifies many of the ways marine resource overexploitation can harm human populations. Madagascar has the highest rate of poverty in the world (78%). Many Malagasy citizens rely on coral reefs as their primary source of protein and micronutrients and demand for this food resource has led to the overexploitation of marine fisheries. Overfishing is particularly acute in the semi-arid southwest region of the country, where agriculture is inherently challenging and becoming increasingly so due to rising temperatures, increasing the risk of malnutrition.

human healthMeeting human needs for marine resources can be achieved by revitalizing wild capture and through mariculture (marine aquaculture). While aquaculture production has increased globally, it does not always support local food security and can result in negative environmental and socio-economic outcomes. Limitations to aquaculture implementation in the region include economic isolation, insufficient training, and the lack of infrastructure. Furthermore, there is little knowledge of the extent to which wild capture and aquaculture contribute to human health and food security. If the outcomes of each were better understood, it could guide future efforts to improve food security without compromising environmental health. We will be evaluating the livelihood and human nutritional impacts of changes in local marine systems. Our team will use a mixed-methods approach to collect a variety of information spanning social, environmental, and clinical health data.


Image of Falinirina

Aroniaina Falinirina
PhD student, IHSM (U. of Tulear)

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Emma Gibbons
PI, Reef Doctor

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Dr. Chris Golden
PI, Harvard University

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Dr. Aaron Hartmann
PI, Harvard University

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Heather Kelahan
PhD student, Harvard University

Image of Miharifetra

Ando Miharifetra
PhD student, U. of Antananarivo

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Hervet Randriamady
PhD student, Harvard University

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Dr. Max Troell
PI, Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics