"It behooves countries, in the face of impending fisheries and climate crises, to plan and implement intelligent management that will increase the resilience of their natural marine resources," said study co-author Tim McClanahan of the WCS. "This paper will provide a roadmap for Madagascar to plan and manage these resources and the methods should prove affordable and useful for the poorest countries where adaptation to climate change will make marine spatial planning a critical part of a successful response."
The method looked at existing information on the country's climate, along with dependence on fisheries and marine resources, and applies three different planning approaches to establish priorities for management along Madagascar's entire west coast.
The study authors said the process provides a more efficient and comprehensive way to plan on a large scale and they found that several marine areas in Madagascar are conservation priorities across all methods.
These conservation priorities included coral reefs in the vicinity of the Barren Islands, the large shallow banks to the northwest and southwest, and the reefs of Juan de Nova.