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 Charlie Gough

Charlie Gough

PhD student



In addition to conducting a PhD at the University of Exeter, Charlie is also the Head of Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning (MEL) for Blue Ventures, where she oversees the research components that underpin BV’s community conservation programmes.

Before returning to the UK Charlie spent almost a decade living and working in Madagascar where (similar to other tropical developing countries) the lack of information on the status of marine resources often undermines efforts to manage and conserve them. Speaking fluent Malagasy Charlie established a participatory fisheries monitoring programme, and as a certified PADI Assistant Instructor led a number of dive survey expeditions along the west coast of Madagascar, as well as completing numerous consultancies supporting work in Madagascar, Ghana and Mozambique.

Charlie’s PhD research is truly inter-disciplinary looking to assess both the composition of small-scale fisheries catches in southwest Madagascar, as well as the social and economic contributions they make. Charlie hopes to use her research to advise the conservation work that Blue Ventures and coastal communities are doing in Madagascar and to advocate for improved recognition of small-scale fisheries in national and international policy.

Broad research specialisms:

Small-scale fisheries, participatory monitoring, community-led conservation, climate vulnerability


BSc Marine and Coastal Ecology, University of Plymouth
MSc Zoo Conservation Biology, University of Plymouth


Research projects

Project Title: Profiling the small-scale fisheries of Madagascar

Supervisors: Annette Broderick and Brendan Godley

Project Description:
Underreporting of fisheries information is one of the major causes of mismanagement, particularly in developing countries where the ability to gather reliable data is hampered by factors such as numerous, remote landing sites and limited capacity to monitor fisheries (Jacquet et al 2010).

My recent co-authorship of the fisheries catch reconstructions for Madagascar (LeManach et al. 2011 and 2012) and preparation of a further paper on changes in traditional fisheries landings in western Madagascar over the last two decades (Gough et al. in prep) have highlighted the need for better assessment of the traditional fisheries along the western coastline of Madagascar, where fishing employs more than 80% of the adult population and makes a substantial contribution to household income (Barnes-Mauthe et al. 2013).

The aim of my research is to assess the small-scale traditional fisheries of Madagascar using participative monitoring techniques. I aim to quantify landings, and profile catch composition, assessing fishing gears and methods, and understand market drivers. I will be comparing current data collected over the last 5 years with historical and contemporary research from the region, to assess trends, and provide information to support local management and national policies for small scale fisheries.


Barnes-Mauthe, Michele, Kirsten LL Oleson, and Bienvenue Zafindrasilivonona. "The total economic value of small-scale fisheries with a characterization of post-landing trends: An application in Madagascar with global relevance."Fisheries Research 147 (2013): 175-185.

Jacquet, Jennifer, Dirk Zeller, and Daniel Pauly. "Counting fish: a typology for fisheries catch data." Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences 7.2 (2010): 135-144.

Le Manach, Frédéric, et al. "Reconstruction of total marine fisheries catches for Madagascar." Fisheries Centre Research Reports 19 (2011): 21.

Le Manach, Frederic, et al. "Unreported fishing, hungry people and political turmoil: the recipe for a food security crisis in Madagascar?." Marine policy 36.1 (2012): 218-225.



Supervision / Group

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