A sea change on the African coast? Preliminary social and ecological outcomes of a governance transformation in Kenyan fisheries

Cinner, Joshua E., and McClanahan, Tim R. (2015) A sea change on the African coast? Preliminary social and ecological outcomes of a governance transformation in Kenyan fisheries. Global Environmental Change, 30. pp. 133-139.

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We examined social and ecological outcomes over a period of transformational change in the governance of Kenyan fisheries. Devolving decision-making power to local communities initially promoted a perception of winners and losers among resource users, but after just 6 years, there were virtually no resource users who felt that the new governance arrangement was detrimental to their livelihood. The current lack of negative perceptions toward co-management provides a critical window of opportunity to strengthen local governance institutions by investing in leadership capacity, transparency, and enforcement. This newly acquired authority to capture the benefits from local management resulted in an unexpected proliferation of community-based marine reserves – a substantial change to the anti-reserve discourse that halted the government's most recent attempt to establish a national marine reserve. Several community-based reserves showed increases in fish biomass and coral cover, while others did not and likely suffered from poor compliance and weak management. Despite some seemingly positive early social and ecological outcomes, co-management should not be viewed as a panacea to Kenya's fisheries challenges, but rather as one of many tools for improving the chances of achieving social–ecological sustainability.

Item ID: 37885
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9495
Keywords: social-ecological systems, fisheries, co-management, decentralization
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Associations Marine Science for Management Program (MASMA)., Tiffany & Co. Foundation, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2015 16:10
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 40%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 30%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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