Community management yields positive impacts for coastal fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation

Smallhorn-West, Patrick F., Stone, Karen, Ceccarelli, Daniela M., Malimali, Siola'a, Halafihi, Tu'ikolongahau, Bridge, Tom C. L., Pressey, Robert L., and Jones, Geoffrey P. (2020) Community management yields positive impacts for coastal fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation. Conservation Letters, 13. e12755.

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Combining no-take marine reserves with exclusive access by communities to unreserved waters could provide the required incentives for community management to achieve positive impacts. However, few protected areas have been critically evaluated for their impact, which involves applying counterfactual thinking to predict conditions within protected areas if management had never occurred. Here, we use statistical matching to conduct a rigorous impact evaluation of dual management systems on coral reef fishes in Tonga, with communities having both full no-take areas and areas of exclusive fishing rights. No-take areas generally had positive impacts on the species richness, biomass, density, and size of target reef fish, while exclusive access areas were similar to predicted counterfactual conditions. The latter is likely because overall fishing pressure in exclusive access areas might not actually change, although more fish could be exploited by communities with access rights. Our findings suggest that dual management is effective at incentivizing effective community-based no-take areas for biodiversity conservation and resource management.

Item ID: 64438
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: comanagement, conservation, locally managed marine area, marine protected areas, South Pacific, TURF
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Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 6 of the following PhD thesis: Smallhorn-West, Patrick (2020) Assessing the impact of coral reef community management in the Kingdom of Tonga. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: Australian Research Council, National Geographic Society
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies (CE0561435), National Geographic Society Grant (CP‐137ER‐17)
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2020 07:35
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 35%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 35%
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