Support for fisheries restrictions in coastal villages along coral reefs in Madagascar was studied to help guide the development of effective management practices. In Madagascar, as in other places with low enforcement capacity, effective management depends on understanding how to facilitate self-compliance. The researchers interviewed 465 people in 24 fishing villages using a questionnaire which included questions on fishing restriction and management preferences, in addition to socioeconomic questions. Support for management restrictions was high and unexpected given the poverty and dearth of past fisheries management. Incorporating this type of information on individual and village management preferences into management plans can increase the rate of compliance. To that end, the authors conclude that based on respondents’ perceptions, gear restrictions have broad appeal and could be implemented at the national level; while closed seasons and minimum size fish restrictions are more likely to be adopted on the village level. With low support for species restrictions, this type of management is expected to lead to conflict and undermine management. The authors point out the discrepancies between local and international donor and conservation group preferences, the latter groups often prefer closures and species restrictions, which can lead to slow progress of implementation. Thus, they advocate for working towards finding common ground and implementing the most supported restrictions first to support effective management.

Author: McClanahan, T. R., J. E. Cinner, C. Abunge, A. Rabearisoa, P. Mahatante, F. Ramahatratra, and N. Andrianarivelo
Year: 2014
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Ecology and Society 19(1): 5. doi: 10.5751/ES-06080-190105

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