Management interventions to reduce pressures on coral reefs often include attracting fishers to non-extractive non-fishery supplemental livelihoods. We look at the case of coral reefs in Lingayen Gulf, Philippines to understand the impacts of local (i.e., aquaculture and tourism), regional, and national development on the artisanal fisheries sector. Using household surveys and a coral reef interaction index (CRII), we obtained relative levels of dependency and impacts of fisheries, aquaculture, and tourism on coral reefs for livelihood. Results show that overall dependency on coral reefs remains high despite its decreasing quality. Socio-economic profiles reveal steep hurdles in shifting fishers to aquaculture. Both aquaculture and fisheries will continue to grow and eventually compete for space if left unmanaged further resulting in reduced reef quality. Shifts of fishers to tourism-based and other low-capital requirement mariculture (e.g., sea ranching) are more realistic than the expectation of absorbing fishers into current aquaculture businesses. Strengthening local coastal governance capacity to improve proactive responses for micro–macro development interactive synergy will also help reduce the impacts of development on reefs. Improving safety nets for coastal communities through skills enhancement and supplemental livelihood options that facilitate stewardship and reef recovery is an imperative. Transforming the lessons learned at village level actions to sustain municipal scale programs and institutional cooperation among stakeholders such as through marine protected area networks remain a challenge. Sharing forums and joint financing of coastal resource management remain to be realized through public and private partnerships and expansion of development for investments in social enterprises.
Ocean & Coastal Management – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2009
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