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Perceived Benefits of Fisheries Management Restrictions in Madagascar

Tim R. McClanahan, Wildlife Conservation Society
Joshua E. Cinner, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Caroline Abunge, Wildlife Conservation Society
Ando Rabearisoa, Conservation International
Paubert Mahatante, University of Toliara
Frederick Ramahatratra, University of Toliara
Norbert Andrianarivelo, Wildlife Conservation Society

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-06080-190105

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Abstract

Perceptions of the benefits of fisheries management restrictions were evaluated in coastal Madagascar to identify restrictions that are likely to be self- and community enforced. The survey focused on 24 Malagasy fishing villages adjacent to coral reefs. Resource users' perceptions of the benefits of restrictions were generally high and widespread, but some less positive perceptions were found in three villages located near marine protected areas. Perceptions of the benefits of gear restrictions had widespread support; closed areas, seasons, and minimum sizes of fish were less common; and restrictions on species were supported infrequently. We therefore advocate a management implementation approach that uses these scales of perceived benefits and prioritizes support for the most widely accepted restrictions most broadly, with the less accepted restrictions matched to specific supportive locations. At the village level, socioeconomic and wealth variables were not clearly associated with perceived benefits, which we suggest results from a stronger influence of village history than socioeconomic conditions. At the individual fisher level, however, there was evidence that experienced people involved in decision-making, having livelihood alternatives, and having permanent housing had more opinions and frequently were more supportive of management restrictions. Incorporating this information into forums and management plans is expected to increase the rate of adoption and compliance with needed fisheries restrictions.

Key words

attitudes; fisheries management; marine protected area planning; poverty; social-ecological
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087