Success of LMMAs has many meanings because there are so many objectives

An interesting article extracted from the LMMA’s Network Bulletin!

The Topic: Success of LMMAs has many meanings because there are so many objectives. Where do certain management measures support, or potentially hinder, the achievement of priority LMMA objectives?

The Research: Locally Managed Marine Areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies, Jupiter et. al., Pacific Conservation Biology

While LMMA managers may be knowledgeable about their specific sites, broader understanding of objectives, management actions and outcomes of local management efforts remain limited. This study identified eight overarching objectives for LMMA establishment and implementation: (1) enhancing long-term sustainability of resource use; (2) increasing short- term 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. Researchers then evaluated how effective the most commonly used management actions are at achieving each of the objectives.


(Above: a schematic of common LMMA “Tools”, or management actions, that can be taken to achieve various objectives. Adapted from Govan and Jupiter, 2013.)

Evaluating trade-offs: Given the joint nature of LMMA management, the goals for having an LMMA may differ among the communities and partner organizations, as well as within the communities themselves. There are inherent trade-offs (as well as synergies) among some objectives. For example, the community may desire enhanced livelihoods from fish catch, which may conflict with the partner organizations’ aim to conserve biodiversity. It is important to distinguish between objectives pursued by communities and objectives influenced or promoted by partner agencies, because the success and longevity of LMMAs depends on the community perceiving that the benefits of having an LMMA outweigh the trade-offs for having one.

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