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Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Locally-managed marine areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies

Stacy D Jupiter, Philippa J Cohen, Rebecca Weeks, Alifereti Tawake and Hugh Govan

Pacific Conservation Biology 20(2) 165 - 179
Published: 01 August 2014


Community-based management and co-management are mainstream approaches to marine conservation and sustainable resource management. In the tropical Pacific, these approaches have proliferated through locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs). LMMAs have garnered support because of their adaptability to different contexts and focus on locally identified objectives, negotiated and implemented by stakeholders. While LMMA managers may be knowledgeable about their specific sites, broader understanding of objectives, management actions and outcomes of local management efforts remain limited. We interviewed 50 practitioners from the tropical Pacific and identified eight overarching objectives for LMMA establishment and implementation: (1) enhancing long-term sustainability of resource use; (2) increasing shortterm harvesting efficiency; (3) restoring biodiversity and ecosystems; (4) maintaining or restoring breeding biomass of fish or invertebrates; (5) enhancing the economy and livelihoods; (6) reinforcing customs; (7) asserting access and tenure rights; and (8) empowering communities. We reviewed outcomes for single or multiple objectives from published studies of LMMAs and go on to highlight synergies and trade-offs among objectives. The management actions or ʻtoolsʼ implemented for particular objectives broadly included: permanent closures; periodically-harvested closures; restrictions on gear, access or species; livelihood diversification strategies; and participatory and engagement processes. Although LMMAs are numerous and proliferating, we found relatively few cases in the tropical Pacific that adequately described how objectives and management tools were negotiated, reported the tools implemented, or empirically tested outcomes and seldom within a regional context. This paper provides some direction for addressing these research gaps.

© CSIRO 2014

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