Coelacanth Discoveries in Madagascar, With Recommendations on Research and Conservation

Authors: Cooke A., Bruton M. N., Ravololoharinjara M.

Pages: 11

Publisher: South African Journal of Science

ISBN: 1996-7489

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The paper provides the first comprehensive account of Madagascar coelacanths and demonstrates the existence of a regionally important population and extensive suitable habitat, correcting an earlier hypothesis that coelacanths in southwest Madagascar were strays from the Comoros.

Cooke, Andrew & Bruton, Michael & Ravololoharinjara, Minosoa. (2021). Coelacanth discoveries in Madagascar, with recommendations on research and conservation. South African Journal of Science. 117. 10.17159/sajs.2021/8541.

RESOLVE team members contributed to this paper on coelacanth discoveries in Madagascar, highlighting the significant presence of the Western Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) around the island. The paper reviews coelacanth catches, provides evidence of their distribution along the southern and western coasts, and hypothesises the species’ extensive range around Madagascar. It underscores the ecological importance and vulnerability of these populations, particularly in the Onilahy canyon. The paper also addresses the impact of gillnet fishing and the shark-fin trade on coelacanths, offering vital recommendations for future research and conservation efforts.

Photo: Todd Huffman (CC BY)


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