Fisheries, tourism, and marine protected areas: Conflicting or synergistic interactions?
Most coastal degradation has been caused by anthropogenic actions, threatening the ecosystem services (ESs) humans depend on. Marine protected areas are a solution to protect ESs, such as fish stocks, although this could potentially lead to conflicts with fisheries and tourism. We investigated how fisheries and tourism in the SE Brazil interact with conservation, evaluating their potential for synergistic interactions. We sampled fish landings (n=823) in two villages and performed interviews with fishers and middlemen regarding fisheries and tourism, besides using secondary information regarding the MPA effectiveness. Fish production was high outside the MPA (9.25 t/day), and could be profitable, resulting in reduced fishing pressure, but a faulty market chain prevents this. Fishers involved with coastal tourism had better incomes than those who engaged in only fisheries. Tourism in permitted areas outside the MPA could benefit both fisheries and biodiversity conservation by reducing the time fishers allocate to fishing and by attracting visitors for wildlife viewing. Nonconflicting uses of ESs can be achieved by assuring that the local poor population benefits from more than one ES in a sustainable way, but that requires alternatives such as adding value to ESs and paying for environmental services.