Due to its location in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar boasts a rich marine fauna: more than 2,200 species of fish cavort in the waters of the red islands. This is not the only reason why the island has become an insider tip for divers and snorkelers from all over the world!
Numerous Coral reefs line the coasts of Madagascar. The diversity of marine life is astonishing: the reefs are populated by innumerable colorful Starfish, corals, fish and Crayfish. Further out to sea are the big game species: Dolphins, sharks, manatees, manta rays and Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). Especially the latter attract a large number of tourists every year in August/September to St. Marie or Antongil Bay, where the large marine mammals make regular stops.
From a culinary point of view, Madagascar is one of the most rewarding destinations for gourmets. Lobsters, shrimps and all other kinds of sea animals in such variety and freshness offered as on Madagascar! Not to mention the ridiculous price!
Especially on the west coast, especially in Belo-sur-Tsiribihina, you get the best shrimp ever!
Sea snails and Mussels are often offered for sale, especially in the coastal regions such as Tuléar and Diego-Suarez. The colorful, bizarrely shaped shells are without doubt an ornament. Nevertheless, the traveler should not buy these souvenirs: the regulations in force in Germany generally prohibit the import of Molusks from the Indian Ocean! Apart from that, especially the beautiful Cone snails of the genus Conus can also be dangerous if touched in the sea. Snorkelers and divers usually know that the animals have a very effective poisonous apparatus.. Wart or stone fish of the genus Synancea have not been explicitly reported by accidents on Madagascar - but this does not mean that these very poisonous sea dwellers are not occasionally encountered here. Since the fish burrow in the sand and you get the sting by stepping on it, the use of bathing shoes is preferable in case of doubt.
In general, at remote beaches should be asked beforehand, which can be dangerous!
Rarer, but still encountered, are the Firefish of the family Pterois. While snorkeling or diving you may encounter one of the bizarre looking striped fish, whose dorsal spines are highly poisonous! The most famous is the Lionfish Pterois volitans.
Sharks are quite common, especially on Madagascar's east coast. Although sharks are by far not as dangerous as many believe, because normally sharks hunt at dusk and also do not eat humans, because humans are simply difficult for the shark to digest. The digestion would cost him more energy than he would gain by it. However, it can happen that a shark mistakes a surfer or snorkeler for a seal if the incidence of light deceives the animal. Then it can happen that the shark takes a "test bite" to check the condition of the potential food. Since the human being, as said, does not come into consideration, the shark leaves it then mostly with a bite and leaves then from the human being - which can be already serious enough in view of the teeth of the sharks, however. Sometimes, however, sharks are also attracted by human impact and then behave aggressively and no longer appropriate to the species. Especially along shipping routes and in some port areas, for example, species that normally live in the open sea and are attracted by human waste then become indigenous. Especially the port city of Tamatave (Toamasina) is a good example: here swimming is generally prohibited by warning signs because of the sharks.
By the way, worldwide about 20 fatal accidents with sharks are known per year - against it in the same period over 200 deaths by falling coconuts!