Shortcuts for marine conservation planning: The effectiveness of socioeconomic data surrogates

Shortcuts for marine conservation planning: The effectiveness of socioeconomic data surrogates Marine protected area (MPA) networks designed without consideration of the interests of local communities are likely to fail. However, in many regions where conservation action is needed most urgently, socioeconomic data are not available at spatial scales relevant to conservation planning. In the Philippines, the primary stakeholders relevant to conservation efforts in coastal waters are small-scale fishers. Unlike commercial fisheries, no logbook data are kept to record fishers’ spatial effort and usage patterns. We investigated the effects of including different surrogates for small-scale fishing effort in the systematic design of an MPA network for Siquijor Province. We compared a reserve selection scenario in which socioeconomic data were not considered with four different surrogates for fishing effort and with empirical data on the spatial distribution of fishing effort collected through interviews. We assumed that minimising opportunity costs to fishers would increase the likelihood that they would support and comply with MPA implementation, resulting in more effective conservation. Surrogates modelled on the number of fishers or boats in each community consistently outperformed those based on population census data. However, none of the surrogates we tested were able to accurately predict fine-scale resource use patterns. Whilst socioeconomic surrogates may be able to assist conservation planners to identify regional-scale opportunities where conservation objectives may be met more easily, they cannot act as a shortcut for comprehensive consultation with communities, which will be required to identify actual sites for MPA implementation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Shortcuts for marine conservation planning: The effectiveness of socioeconomic data surrogates

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2010.02.031
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Marine protected area (MPA) networks designed without consideration of the interests of local communities are likely to fail. However, in many regions where conservation action is needed most urgently, socioeconomic data are not available at spatial scales relevant to conservation planning. In the Philippines, the primary stakeholders relevant to conservation efforts in coastal waters are small-scale fishers. Unlike commercial fisheries, no logbook data are kept to record fishers’ spatial effort and usage patterns. We investigated the effects of including different surrogates for small-scale fishing effort in the systematic design of an MPA network for Siquijor Province. We compared a reserve selection scenario in which socioeconomic data were not considered with four different surrogates for fishing effort and with empirical data on the spatial distribution of fishing effort collected through interviews. We assumed that minimising opportunity costs to fishers would increase the likelihood that they would support and comply with MPA implementation, resulting in more effective conservation. Surrogates modelled on the number of fishers or boats in each community consistently outperformed those based on population census data. However, none of the surrogates we tested were able to accurately predict fine-scale resource use patterns. Whilst socioeconomic surrogates may be able to assist conservation planners to identify regional-scale opportunities where conservation objectives may be met more easily, they cannot act as a shortcut for comprehensive consultation with communities, which will be required to identify actual sites for MPA implementation.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: May 1, 2010

References

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