Fisheries management is increasingly turning to participatory approaches as a way to improve stakeholder satisfaction with management institutions and policies, reduce conflicts, enhance compliance, and achieve various other benefits. However, how these efforts are perceived by participants and their impact on actual stakeholder attitudes is rarely evaluated. A quantitative survey was used to explore attitudes toward management and perceptions of participation opportunities in Florida's marine recreational fisheries management. Though most (89%) respondents agreed that public input should be included in decision-making, few agreed it is (19%) or that managers listen to public input (13%), and only 15% agreed there are opportunities for them to participate. Almost half (42%) were on average dissatisfied with management outcomes and processes. A significant correlation was found between respondent's perception that they could take meaningful action to influence management and their overall satisfaction with management (r = 0.58, p < 0.001). Stakeholders that had the highest and lowest scores for meaningful action differed in whether or not they perceived they had opportunities for participation and in their understanding of the management process. However, the strongest differences related to the perceived incorporation (or lack thereof) of stakeholder input into decision-making, and the quality of science behind decision-making. Overall this suggests that the perception that opportunities for participation are limited and not genuine is associated with overall dissatisfaction with marine recreational fisheries management. We recommend measures to increase awareness of participation opportunities and in particular, transparent and effective use of stakeholder input in decision-making in order to ensure that engagement opportunities are viewed as meaningful. This could increase satisfaction with management and strengthen wider benefits of participatory approaches.
Community-based and Participatory Management
This paper relates how fishermen in San Evaristo on Mexico’s Baja peninsula employ fabrications to strengthen bonds of trust and navigate the complexities of common pool resource extraction. We argue this trickery complicates notions of social capital in community-based natural resource management, which emphasize communitarianism in the form of trust. Trust, defined as a mutual dependability often rooted in honesty, reliable information, or shared expectations, has long been recognized as essential to common pool resource management. Despite this, research that takes a critical approach to social capital places attention on the activities that foster social networks and their norms by arguing that social capital is a process. A critical approach illuminates San Evaristeño practices of lying and joking across social settings and contextualizes these practices within cultural values of harmony. As San Evaristeños assert somewhat paradoxically, for them “lies build trust.” Importantly, a critical approach to this case study forces consideration of gender, an overlooked topic in social capital research. San Evaristeña women are excluded from the verbal jousting through which men maintain ties supporting their primacy in fishery management. Both men’s joke-telling and San Evaristeños’ aversion to conflict have implications for conservation outcomes. As a result, we use these findings to help explain local resistance to outsiders and external management strategies including land trusts, fishing cooperatives, and marine protected areas.
Public efforts to support proper use and preservation of Florida’s historic shipwrecks began in earnest in the late 1980s. One of the most successful and popular programs developed by the state is the Underwater Archaeological Preserve system. As part of this process, state archaeologists begin by working with sport divers and local governments to establish the Preserve. From this point forward, archaeologists utilize the submerged sites to facilitate hands-on, non-disturbance survey and documentation trainings for these and other groups. Using the same framework, the Florida Public Archaeology Network continues to engage the public’s interest in Florida’s shipwrecks and other submerged cultural heritage sites. This chapter describes the Submerged Sites Education and Archaeological Stewardship (SSEAS) program and the Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar (HADS), and how these programs are intended to encourage divers to become active in monitoring wreck sites and making their own discoveries, in the process producing information instead of simply consuming information. While initial results have been encouraging, they also provide a lesson for orienting collaborative programs to the needs of the audience, rather than only to the needs of archaeologists.
Coastal nations and islands have featured a participatory turn this century directed to resolving conflicts in multi-use/user marine spaces. Yet, few conceptual and empirical studies focus on participation as an institutional form to engage with the pressures of diverse and contesting uses and user interests in marine environments. These spaces are volatile arenas of power and politics, challenging available regulatory, governance and managerial models. The paper first reviews understandings of the nature of the relational field of diversity-contestation-participation in the international literature and second draws on empirical findings from five case studies of marine participatory process configurations in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. The nation is a unique ecological, political, social, cultural and economic setting. Maori (the indigenous people) have developed holistic intergenerational resource nurturing principles and practices (Vision Matauranga (VM)) that are actively shaping marine futures. This momentum has markedly altered the nature and terms of engagement of participation in Aotearoa New Zealand's shallow marine regulatory context. The country is thus an ideal setting to examine the rise of quasi-independent Participatory initiatives, contextualise and examine their diversity, contestation, participation interactions, confront relational and co-production aspects of agency that are an integral part of real-time participatory processes, and to reflect on van Kerkhoff and Lebel's (2015) contention that different possible futures hang on people asking new questions and being brave enough to experiment with process, collaboration, and their own conceptualisations and knowledges'.
Community-based mangrove management (CBMM) in Thailand has been uniquely successful, so that efforts to promote CBMM elsewhere can potentially learn from the Thai experience. This qualitative research identifies factors contributing to success of community-based mangrove management in four coastal communities along the Andaman Sea during 1980–2017. The emergence and consolidation of community-mangrove management took place in distinct phases including collective action with support by NGOs to address a degradation crises; a shift to cooperation with government; and the stabilization and enhancement of sustainable management. Factors explaining the emergence of successful community mangrove management include those internal to the community, such as leadership, occupational change, experience, and capacity to organize into groups; and those that are external to the community including NGO support in the initial phases, and increasing government support and recognition in subsequent phases. The factors that help explain success have changed over time, indicating the flexibility in what might facilitate successful CBMM elsewhere.
Marine spatial planning (MSP) is occurring throughout the world, as communities and nation-states seek to resolve spatial conflicts and competition in coastal areas and reduce the impacts of human uses on marine biodiversity. The Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) in British Columbia, Canada, is a successful example of collaborative marine planning between First Nations governments and the British Columbia provincial government, achieving the protection of ecological and cultural values, while supporting sustainable economic activities. The collaborative planning process was pre-dated by territorial marine planning by each participating First Nation, which allowed for the protection of First Nations governance and economy, cultural values and activities, and resource management priorities.
In Northwest Africa, the last two decades were characterized by the establishment of many marine protected areas (MPAs) that are considered to be major fisheries management tools. This politically motivated trend - to use for fisheries management a tool initially conceived for biodiversity conservation - emerged in a context of increasing degradation of the marine and coastal ecosystems combined with a generalized overexploitation of the main fish stocks in the Sub-Region. However, the commitment to promote MPAs neglected the necessity to regularly and effectively monitor and evaluate their effectiveness. Therefore, in 2013–2014 the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) project supported the development of an experimental participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) approach for the Northwest African MPAs. This perception-based approach, which was implemented in two pilot MPAs in Senegal and Gambia, was then widely shared and discussed through several local meetings as well as in two regional and international workshops. This article aims to document the principles and outcomes of this experimental PM&E approach and also discuss its opportunities and challenges regarding to its potential adoption and use by MPA managers.
Although the dynamics of coastal resources are largely determined by the impacts of human users, spatially-explicit social data are rarely systematically integrated into coastal management planning in data-poor developing states. In order to plan a community-based mangrove payments for ecosystem services initiative in southwest Madagascar, we used two participatory approaches; public participation geographic information systems and concept modelling workshops – with 10 coastal communities to investigate the dynamics and spatial distribution of the mangrove resources they use. In each village we conducted participatory mapping of land and resource use with different livelihood groups using printed satellite images, and concept modelling workshops to develop concept models of the mangrove social-ecological system (including the identification of threats and underlying drivers, and proposals for targeted management strategies). Each community then proposed mangrove zoning consisting of strict conservation zones, sustainable use zones and restoration zones. Following validation and ground-truthing, the proposed zones and management strategies formed the basis of the zoning and management plan for the mangrove. Participatory approaches proved a simple and reliable way to gather spatial data and better understand the relationships between the mangrove and those who use it. Moreover, participation stimulated mangrove users to consider resource trends, the impacts of their activities, and required management actions, promoting a collective ‘buy-in’ for the project. Since participation extended beyond research to the development of management zones, rules and strategies, we believe that community ownership of the project has been strengthened and the chances of successfully conserving the mangrove improved.
Effective stakeholder participation is increasingly seen as an essential part of improving marine and coastal management. Coastal partnerships are a well-established informal method for enabling stakeholder participation in coastal management. However, how well they perform this role has been little explored. The North West Coastal Forum is a UK regional coastal partnership, interacting with stakeholders from across local, regional, national and international spatial scales. At the time of this research, the Forum had been in place for 14 years and, with its excellent record keeping, provided a valuable case study of the effectiveness of coastal partnerships to engage with and represent stakeholders over time. This study both analysed Forum records and conducted an electronic survey of Forum members. The diversity of stakeholders that participate in the Forum and how that has changed over time was examined. Forum members’ perception of the purpose of the Forum and their level of satisfaction with Forum performance was also investigated. In addition, we explored members’ values and how they aligned with the organisations they were representing. Results indicated that, whilst many sectors have been represented on the Management Board and at Forum events, there are some which dominated, particularly Local Authorities, and others, such as extractive industries, which were under-represented. Overall, survey respondents’ perceptions of the Forum purpose aligned with its stated purpose very well. Respondents were also supportive of the performance of the Forum: 56% considered the Forum to have delivered on initial expectations “well” or “very well” and only 4% “poorly”. Respondents’ personal values tended towards pro-environmentalism and were broadly in line with the perceived values of their own host organisations, suggesting that stakeholder representatives can be effective conduits. This study indicates that coastal partnerships can be viewed by stakeholders as an effective means for facilitating stakeholder engagement. As such, coastal management efforts should encourage the development and ideally provide long term support for coastal partnership initiatives. However, this study also suggests that active recruitment is needed to encourage a full range of stakeholders to participate and thus enable coastal partnerships to more fully contribute to integrated coastal zone management.
Protected areas (PAs) are a frequently used conservation strategy, yet their socioeconomic impacts on local communities remain contentious. A shift toward increased participation by local communities in PA governance seeks to deliver benefits for human well‐being and biodiversity. Although participation is considered critical to the success of PAs, few researchers have investigated individuals’ decisions to participate and what this means for how local people experience the costs and benefits of conservation. We explored who participates in PA governance associations and why; the perceived benefits and costs to participation; and how costs and benefits are distributed within and between communities. Methods included 3 focus groups, 37 interviews, and 217 questionnaire surveys conducted in 3 communities and other stakeholders (e.g., employees of a nongovernmental organization and government officials) in PA governance in Madagascar. Our study design was grounded in the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the most commonly applied behavior model in social psychology. Participation in PA governance was limited by miscommunication and lack of knowledge about who could get involved and how. Respondents perceived limited benefits and high costs and uneven distribution of these within and between communities. Men, poorer households, and people in remote villages reported the highest costs. Our findings illustrate challenges related to comanagement of PAs: understanding the heterogeneous nature of communities; ensuring all households are represented in governance participation; understanding differences in the meaning of forest protection; and targeting interventions to reach households most in need to avoid elite capture.