Tropical Marine Protected Areas

Comparative Analysis of Management Styles Found at Each Location

Traditional or Local Management

Traditional or local managed marine protected areas are “areas of ocean managed by coastal communities to help protect fisheries and safeguard marine biodiversity” (Blueventures, N. d.). Usually, traditionally managed areas are smaller in size compared to national parks, where gear restrictions or gear-restricted areas and reef management is maintained by the local community (McClanahan et al., 2006). The purpose of maintaining these protected areas is to provide food for feasts, to reinforce intercommunity relations, or mitigate conflicts (McClanahan et al, 2006). In most cases of traditional management, this management form is intertwined with co-management attributes, such as the local communities working with NGOs, tourism operators, universities, etc. (McClanahan et al., 2006). These groups work together to develop a management plan that benefits most people. In studies conducted by Tim McClanahan, evidence showed that the marine protected areas that were managed under traditional management were the areas that had greater numbers in size and biomass of fishes (McClanahan et al., 2006). In these sites, there are social influences that promote protection to these areas due to the understanding of human-environment interaction and local culture (McClanahan et. al, 2006). These social influences mainly came from village leaders, in which the leaders have control over the time and amount of fish that many be harvest, as well as, developing rules that benefits village and the protected area (McClanahan et al., 2006).  Out of the four researched MPAs, Apo Island and the Galapagos Islands are considered to be traditional base management with some co-management attributes.

Links to Management Plans:
Apo Island 
Galapagos Islands: click here to view a thesis from Memorial University of Newfoundland Phd graduate María José Barragán Paladines.

National Parks

National parks are marine protected areas that are managed and maintained by the nation’s government (McClanahan et al., 2006), where sustaining and improving natural and cultural resources are the main objectives in the nation (NOAA, 2015). In these areas, the government enforces laws and regulations in order to sustain the use of resource and improve the quality of the protected area (McClanahan et al., 2006). Since each marine protected area is in specific regions of the nation, these regions usually have similar objectives as the nation (NOAA, 2015), but are usually specific to that area. In studies conduct by Tim McClanahan, results have shown that national base management is less effective to traditional base management (McClanahan et al., 2006). Evidence have shown that larger marine protected areas with inadequate enforcement to the laws and regulations have led to a higher amount of damage to the ecosystem of the area, decreasing the biodiversity (McClanahan et al., 2006). Also, those areas that are have no to very little public involvement have a higher percentage of damage to the ecosystem. However, national parks that involve the public to achieve the community goals, as well as the nations, are able to achieve “greater acceptance, compliance, and subsequent conservation success” compared to those that a designed for only tourism and biodiversity purposes (McClanahan et al., 2006). 
Out of the four researched MPAs, the Great Barrier Reef, and Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve are considered to be national base management. However, Galapagos Islands have some national management attributes to its plan. 

Links to Management Plans:
Great Barrier Reef
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve

See the following flowchart outlining the types of management found at each of our case study locations:


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