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Cinner J.E.,James Cook University | Cinner J.E.,Wildlife Conservation Society | McClanahan T.R.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Wamukota A.,Coral Reef Conservation Project
Marine Policy | Year: 2010

The socioeconomic conditions in nine communities of the Kenyan coast were examined to test the hypotheses that socioeconomic characteristics and knowledge about the sea differ for: (1) fishers compared to non-fishers; and (2) fishers living adjacent to parks compared to fishers living away from parks. Compared to non-fishers, fishers were poorer, had higher occupational diversity, more participation in community decision-making, and higher scores on six dimensions of knowledge about marine resources. Fishers living adjacent parks had lower occupational diversity, higher fortnightly expenditures, greater knowledge of the effects of land-based pollutants and market demands than non-park fishers. These relationships may, however, be a result of urbanization near Kenya's marine parks, rather than the marine parks' effect on fishers' knowledge and livelihoods. Consistent with studies from other parts of the world, this study finds that there are aspects of Kenyan fishers' socioeconomic conditions and knowledge about the sea that characterize them as distinct from non-fishers. Initiatives designed to improve the socioeconomic conditions of fishers or to manage fishery stocks need to understand and account for these differences. © 2009.

McClanahan T.R.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Kaunda-Arara B.,Moi University | Omukoto J.O.,Coral Reef Conservation Project
Fisheries Management and Ecology | Year: 2010

Catch composition, relative abundance and diversity of fish catches in open access and three old fisheries closures were compared and contrasted with previous ecological studies. There was less variation in catch community composition among the fishing grounds than the closures, suggesting that fishing has homogenised catch composition. The trap survey found that some parrotfish [. Leptoscarus vaigiensis (Quoy &Gaimard), Calotomus carolinus (Valenciennes) and Scarus ghobban Forsskål] were relatively more common and that some important predators of macro-invertebrates [. Balistapus undulatus (Mungo Park) and Cheilinus chlorourus (Bloch)] were less common in the fishing grounds than closures. Unexpectedly, and in contrast to visual census results, cumulative number of species in catch surveys was higher in open access than closures sites. This may result from fishers covering more area and habitat or a reduction in the catch of competitively subordinate and rare species by aggressive, early-caught fish that can dominate bait. Comparisons of ecological visual census surveys and fisheries-dependent methods indicated that small differences in catch composition can reflect larger ecological differences and that baiting methods can underestimate biodiversity. Ecological impacts of fishing and large-scale changes in marine ecosystems must be considerable given the many fisheries-dependent assessments report modest changes. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Wamukota A.W.,Coral Reef Conservation Project | Cinner J.E.,James Cook University | McClanahan T.R.,Wildlife Conservation Society
Marine Policy | Year: 2012

In many parts of the world, inshore marine resources are being increasingly managed through collaborative arrangements between communities, governments, civil society and other groups. However, co-management of fisheries has had a mixture of successes and failures. Theorists and applied researchers have suggested a series of preconditions or factors thought to improve the chances of successful common-pool resource management. These include common property institutional design principles and their contextual conditions. Using a variety of web-based English keyword searches, published literature on community-based management and co-management of coral reefs was systematically reviewed with the view of determining if and how studies were evaluating these management systems as well as the extent to which critical aspects of common property theory were investigated and tested. Based on a screening of 600 and full evaluation of 157 journal articles, four measures of ecological conditions and five measures of contextual condition improvement were examined or could be evaluated with the data presented in 38 papers, which examined 49 co-management projects. Fewer than half of the 49 studies met the inclusion criteria of the analyses for documenting key design principles or contextual conditions. Additionally, most projects did not systematically report on contextual conditions, common property design principles and measures of success. The analysis demonstrates the large theoretical and empirical gaps in the evaluation of these management systems and begs for a more scientific, critical and multivariate approach. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Ateweberhan M.,University of Warwick | McClanahan T.R.,Coral Reef Conservation Project | McClanahan T.R.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Graham N.A.J.,James Cook University | Sheppard C.R.C.,University of Warwick
Coral Reefs | Year: 2011

Long-term changes in coral cover for the Caribbean and the Pacific/Southeast Asia regions (PSEA) have proven extremely useful in assessing the main drivers, magnitude and timescales of change. The one major coral reef region where such assessments have not been made is the Indian Ocean (IO). Here, we compiled coral cover survey data from across the IO into a database of ~2,000 surveys from 366 coral reef sites collected between 1977 and 2005. The compilation shows that the 1998 mass coral bleaching event was the single most important and widespread factor influencing the change in coral cover across the region. The trend in coral cover followed a step-type function driven by the 1998 period, which differs from findings in the Caribbean and the PSEA regions where declines have been more continuous and mostly began in the 1980s. Significant regional variation was observed, with most heterogeneity occurring during and after 1998. There was a significant relationship between cover and longitude for all periods, but the relationship became stronger in the period immediately after 1998. Before 1998, highest coral cover was observed in the central IO region, while this changed to the eastern region after 1998. Coral cover and latitude displayed a significant U-shaped relationship immediately after 1998, due to a large decrease in cover in the northern-central regions. Post-1998 coral cover was directly correlated to the impact of the disturbance; areas with the lowest mortality having the highest cover with India-Sri Lanka being an outlier due to its exceptionally high recovery. In 1998, reefs within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were more heavily impacted than unmanaged reefs, losing significantly greater total cover. MPA recovery was greater such that no differences were observed by 2001-2005. This study indicates that the regional patterns in coral cover distribution in the IO are driven mainly by episodic and acute environmental stress. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

McClanahan T.R.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Abunge C.A.,Coral Reef Conservation Project | Cinner J.E.,James Cook University
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2012

Increasing the chances that resource users engage in and comply with management regulations is a continual problem for many conservation initiatives globally. This is particularly common when resource users perceive more personal costs than benefits from specific management actions. Analysis of interviews with managers and fishers from 22 landing sites along the coast of Kenya indicated how key stakeholders perceived the scale of benefits and costs from different management strategies. Potential underlying causes of divergent perceptions towards different management tools were evaluated, including marine protected areas, no-take fisheries closures, gear use, minimum size of fish caught and species restrictions. The analysis identified three distinct opinion groups: (1) a group of nine landing sites that scaled their preference for most management restrictions neutral to low, with exceptions for minimum sizes of captured fish and gear restrictions; (2) a group of eight landing sites that scaled their preference for the above and species restrictions and closed season higher, and were more neutral about closures and marine protected areas; and (3) a group containing four landing sites and the managers' offices that rated their preference for the above and closed areas and marine protected areas as high. Logistic regression was used to examine whether these groups differed in wealth, education, age, perceptions of disparity in benefits, dependence on fishing and distance to government marine protected areas. The most frequent significant factor was the resource users' perceived disparity between the benefits of the management to themselves and their communities, with the benefits to the government. Consequently, efforts to reduce this real or perceived disparity are likely to increase adoption and compliance rates. Most widespread positively-viewed restrictions, such as gear use and minimum size of fish, should be promoted at the national level while other restrictions may be more appropriately implemented at the community level. © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2012.

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