Abstract The perceptions of Kenyan resource users and managers towards gear and area management were examined through face‐to‐face interviews to identify areas of agreement and disagreement and compare with compliance. Opinions were sought about gears that sustained fish catch, gears discouraged by the government and traditional leaders, and the benefits of area management were sought. There was good agreement among most groups and traditional leaders about the gears discouraged by government, with beach seines and spear guns the most commonly listed. This indicates good agreement between government and traditions, promoted by recent government legislation, but compliance was poor since nearly two‐thirds of fishers used these recently prohibited gears. This was due, in part, to lesser agreement concerning gears that promote a sustainable fishery, with spear guns and beach seines scaled low, but moderately supported in this respect by those fishers that use these gears. These gears persist because of the lack of shared evidence about the yields and sustainability of the various gears and social and economic aspects, such as increased competitiveness and decreased costs of the gears. There is evidence that beach seines lower yields but this gear persists because it is more competitive and has lower costs to the user than the other gears. Spear guns also persist because young and poor fishermen, who cannot afford costs associated with other gears, use them. Government employees scaled the benefits of area, and particularly closed area, management, higher than fishers, which is an issue of conflict but, nonetheless, has good compliance because of the long history of closed area management. For both types of management, shared perceptions alone were insufficient to achieve high compliance, and active enabling and enforcement by managers is needed.
Fisheries Management & Ecology – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2005
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