There is a growing interest in working with customary management (CM) systems to effectively manage benthic resources and small-scale fisheries. The underlying notion is that CM institution as territorial use rights in fisheries (TURFs) can be sufficiently adaptive and dynamic to create the local incentives that are necessary for promoting sustainable fishing practices and marine conservation more generally in a given region. This paper reviews the social opportunities and challenges of working with CM systems as a form of TURF, particularly in Oceania. A key conclusion is that policy makers and managers not only need to recognize natural interconnectivity in any one marine space, but also consider the social interconnectivity of stakeholders that covers customary TURFs. Only by recognizing and working with the existing social networks that overlay any given marine territory can the operational principles of CM (as reviewed in this paper) be effectively deployed for achieving some kind of bioeconomic efficiency and creating an equitable rights-based fisheries management system.
Community-based and Participatory Management
The global decline of marine ecosystems may be partially ascribed to poor governance and to the lack of sustainable use and marine biodiversity conservation policy. Conservation success is strongly related to how people perceive marine biodiversity and those perceptions can change as a result of the accumulation of knowledge, the quality of the environment, and the appropriate and sustainable management of these areas. Engaging the targeted community in the process of promoting and planning safeguarding activities may also contribute to the acceptability and the dissemination of a shared culture of sustainability and a positive change in behavior.
This study investigates people's knowledge, perceptions and feelings toward the protection and improvement of marine biodiversity of coralligenous areas in the North Adriatic Sea in Italy. Several focus groups were conducted in the major towns of the targeted area (N = 107) to explore people's familiarity with marine biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to reveal their opinions and behaviours for certain protection strategies, such as the marine protected area (MPA).
We found that coralligenous habitats are not very well known among the general people; in fact, only 42% of respondents had previously heard about biodiversity in these habitats. However, participants agreed that they provide important environmental services that benefit human wellbeing. Moreover, we found that 80% of respondents had heard before of MPA, and the majority of them were in favor of supporting interventions and policies to protect these areas.
Remote sensing has been widely used for mapping land cover and is considered key to monitoring changes in forest areas in the REDD+ Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) system. But Remote Sensing as a desk study cannot capture the whole picture; it also requires ground checking. Therefore, complementing remote sensing analysis using participatory mapping can help provide information for an initial forest cover assessment, gain better understanding of how local land use might affect changes, and provide a way to engage local communities in REDD+. Our study looked at the potential of participatory mapping in providing complementary information for remotely sensed maps. The research sites were located in different ecological and socio-economic contexts in the provinces of Papua, West Kalimantan and Central Java, Indonesia. Twenty-one maps of land cover and land use were drawn with local community participation during focus group discussions in seven villages. These maps, covering a total of 270,000ha, were used to add information to maps developed using remote sensing, adding 39 land covers to the eight from our initial desk assessment. They also provided additional information on drivers of land use and land cover change, resource areas, territory claims and land status, which we were able to correlate to understand changes in forest cover. Incorporating participatory mapping in the REDD+ MRV protocol would help with initial remotely sensed land classifications, stratify an area for ground checks and measurement plots, and add other valuable social data not visible at the RS scale. Ultimately, it would provide a forum for local communities to discuss REDD+ activities and develop a better understanding of REDD+.
This study explores the factors that influence the community's participation in managing community-based ecotourism (CBETM) for sustainable development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Peninsular Malaysia. CBETM ensures community involvement for effective sustainable management as well as supporting environmental conservation practices. To achieve the objectives of the study, a quantitative method was applied, and data were analysed using structural equation modelling (SEM). The major findings of this study indicate that environmental knowledge for sustainable development, motivation to be involved with CBETM, perceived economic impact of CBETM, perceived social impact of CBETM and perceived cultural impact of CBETM have a greater influence on intention to participate in CBETM. It implies that these factors lead to the formation of positive intention in managing CBETM and promote community participation. This study will help policymakers to take relevant management policies to increase environmental knowledge for sustainable development, to motivate local community in CBETM, and to increase economic, social and cultural benefits among residents. These benefits encourage community involvement in CBETM that will support environmental planning to ensure environmental conservation practices among tourists and residents.
Promoting and attaining sustainable use of resources through community participation is a central tenet of the European Union's (EU) 2013 Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. A systematic review approach was used to identify participatory fisheries management arrangements within the EU. Following this, the participatory arrangements were categorized based on the nature of the decision-making arrangement, influence and empowerment of the fishing industry. The study identified 40 management arrangements distributed through 8 member states, with a variety of fisheries and institutional settings for participation in fisheries management in the EU. The majority of the partnerships identified are “Functional participation”, i.e., the participatory arrangement is based in pre-determined goals encouraged by higher decision-making levels in order to increase efficiency of management decisions. Interactive partnership was the highest level of participation identified in the systematic review, and is usually more conducive with local arrangements in coastal and small-scale fisheries targeting low mobility species.
This study investigated the effects of a community-led temperate marine reserve in Lamlash Bay, Firth of Clyde, Scotland, on commercially important populations of European lobster (Homarus gammarus), brown crab (Cancer pagurus), and velvet swimming crabs (Necora puber). Potting surveys conducted over 4 years revealed significantly higher catch per unit effort (cpue 109% greater), weight per unit effort (wpue 189% greater), and carapace length (10–15 mm greater) in lobsters within the reserve compared with control sites. However, likely due to low levels of recruitment and increased fishing effort outside the reserve, lobster catches decreased in all areas during the final 2 years. Nevertheless, catch rates remained higher within the reserve across all years, suggesting the reserve buffered these wider declines. Additionally, lobster cpue and wpue declined with increasing distance from the boundaries of the marine reserve, a trend which tag–recapture data suggested were due to spillover. Catches of berried lobster were also twice as high within the reserve than outside, and the mean potential reproductive output per female was 22.1% greater. It was originally thought that higher densities of lobster within the reserve might lead to greater levels of aggression and physical damage. However, damage levels were solely related to body size, as large lobsters >110 mm had sustained over 218% more damage than smaller individuals. Interestingly, catches of adult lobsters were inversely correlated with those of juvenile lobsters, brown crabs, and velvet crabs, which may be evidence of competitive displacement and/or predation. Our findings provide evidence that temperate marine reserves can deliver fisheries and conservation benefits, and highlight the importance of investigating multispecies interactions, as the recovery of some species can have knock-on effects on others.
Marine protected areas (MPAs) have historically been implemented and managed in a top-down way, excluding resource-dependent users from planning and management. In response to conflict and non-compliance, the governance of marine resources is increasingly embracing community-based approaches, assuming that by putting communities at the forefront of planning and management, participation will increase, causing positive social and ecological impacts. Given the relative newness of community-based MPAs, this study explores how resource users perceive their impacts on ecosystem services (ES) and human well-being (HWB). This study explores two community-based MPAs called tengefus in Kenya using mixed qualitative methods, including a participatory photography method called photovoice. Participation in and donor support for tengefus influences how resource users perceived tengefus and their impacts on ES and HWB. Individuals who were engaged in the tengefu from the inception or held official positions perceived more positive impacts on ES and HWB compared to those not as involved. Tengefus were often viewed by communities as attractors for external support and funding, positively influencing attitudes and feelings towards conservation. One site, the first tengefu in Kenya, had more external support and was surrounded by positive perceptions, while the other site had little external support and was surrounded by more conflict and mixed perceptions. This study exemplifies the complex social-political dynamics that MPAs create and are embedded within. Community-based MPA initiatives could benefit from ensuring widespread engagement throughout the inception, implementation and management, recognizing and managing expectations around donor support, and not assuming that benefits spillover throughout the community.
Marine fisheries in Costa Rica have become characterized by overexploitation, ineffective centralized management and increased conflict among fishing sectors. Despite high economic and socio-cultural importance of small-scale fisheries, no formal mechanisms existed until recently to facilitate the participation of fishers in management. Marine Areas for Responsible Fishing (Áreas Marinas para la Pesca Responsable, AMPR) were legally recognized in 2009 as a co-management approach, enabling the designation of spatial management areas to be implemented collaboratively by artisanal fishers and government agencies. In this paper, we examine property and access relations shaping this emerging participatory management model using case studies primarily from the Gulf of Nicoya region. The policy demonstrably improves upon some aspects of management, for instance, by allowing artisanal fishers to determine gear restrictions within designated areas. However, the model lacks other attributes of more successful co-management scenarios, particularly exclusive access. The fugitive nature of resources further complicates property relations over these fisheries. The cases explored also illustrate broader institutional and systemic issues that preclude effective participatory management. Lessons from the region are used to propose significant shifts to the management of small-scale fisheries in Costa Rica.
Globally, marine protected areas (MPAs) have been relatively unsuccessful in meeting biodiversity objectives. In order to be effective, they require some alteration of people's use and access to marine resources, which they will resist if they do not perceive associated benefits. Stakeholder support is crucial to ecological success of MPAs, and support is likely to depend on their capacity to adapt to and benefit from MPAs. We examined the influence of social adaptive capacity (SAC) on perceived benefits of MPAs in Siquijor, Philippines, in the Coral Triangle. This region has significant biodiversity and is home to over 120 million people, many of them dependent on marine resources for food and income. It is a hotspot for MPAs, most of which are managed under decentralized governance systems. We collected data from 540 households in 19 villages with associated MPAs. We evaluated the influence of multiple SAC variables on perceived benefits using decision trees and qualitatively analyzed this relationship with respect to types and recipients of benefits. Our models revealed the key role of social capital, particularly trust in leadership, in influencing perceptions of benefits. Further, path analysis revealed that perceptions of distributional equity were a key mechanism through which social capital affected perceived MPA benefits. Identifying approaches to building social capital and equity within communities could lead to more effective management of MPAs requiring fewer resources than other approaches such as enforcement. Future research could build understanding of the influence and defining characteristics of different types of social capital and its distribution within communities on successful outcomes of MPAs and other marine resource management approaches.
This paper describes how relational place-making, with its focus on power dynamics, networked politics, and non-market, locally-valued characteristics, provides a useful framework for managers to better design fishing community policies. Social data, while becoming more common in fisheries management analyses, are typically restricted to quantitative measures that often cannot adequately summarize dynamics within fishing communities. In contrast, detailed ethnographic research and the theoretical framework of relational place-making can provide a useful methodology through which to gather social data to understand resource-dependent communities and the effects of fisheries management policies in these places. Relational place-making describes the process through which physical spaces are transformed into socially meaningful places, and how these understandings are contested and negotiated among different groups of actors. These contested narratives of place, called place-frames, can interact with economic development efforts to help create (or fail to create) sustainable communities. To better understand the efficacy of a specific fisheries policy, the community development quota (CDQ) program, we conducted 6 months of ethnographic research in the rural, Native communities of St. George and St. Paul, Alaska. In both communities we found that local place-frames centered on local empowerment and control. In St. George, local place-frames conflicted with place-frames advanced by CDQ employees, and locals were unable to align place-making goals with local economic realities. In St. Paul, local residents and CDQ employees shared a place-frame, allowing them to accomplish numerous local development goals. However, differences in place-frames advanced by other political entities on the island often complicated development initiatives. This study supports previous research indicating that policies and development projects that increase local power and self-determination are most successful in furthering community sustainability and well-being. This study indicates that relational place-making can illuminate local goals and desires and is therefore of great utility to the fisheries management decision-making process.