مدیریت از یک منطقه حفاظت شده دریایی برای حل پایداری و تعارض: درس هایی از پارک ملی لورتا در خلیج (بایا کالیفرنا سور، مکزیک)
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18836||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 52, Issue 9, September 2009, Pages 449–458
The Loreto Bay National Park was established to protect the area's ecosystems from habitat destruction and overexploitation. However, the park has not met two of its primary goals: recovery of commercially valuable fish populations and their sustainable use by stakeholders. Based on evidence from the literature, dialogue with stakeholders, a literature review on using recreational fees for marine protected area (MPA) management, and an economic valuation survey, we provide practical guidelines for addressing factors hindering the park's success. These include: 1) the implementation of management based upon ecosystem science, and rigorous monitoring of park ecosystems, 2) increased communication among stake-holder groups, outreach and education, and 3) a re-organization of the park's administrative structure that would allow for more efficient use of funds. Our results also suggest that the park entrance fee could be raised to support these proposed improvements.
The Gulf of California, a narrow strip of sea between the Baja California peninsula and mainland Mexico, is an ecologically unique and highly productive ecosystem , , ,  and . The Gulf, also known as the Sea of Cortez, is home to one-third of the world's marine mammal species, as well as approximately eight hundred fish species . It supports many important commercial and recreational fisheries . In the early 1990s, the marine and coastal habitats in the Bay of Loreto, located in the southern Gulf of California (Fig. 1), began to noticeably deteriorate and it was recognized that commercially important fish populations were decreasing in number , due to over-fishing and fishing practices destructive to the marine habitat , ,  and . In response to concern about this decline as well as several years of petitioning by local communities, tourists, scientists, and the international conservation community, the Mexican government established the 2056 km2 Loreto Bay National Park (LBNP), which covers Loreto Bay's coastline, islands, and sea (Fig. 1). The park was formally established in 1996, while the management plan, which is reviewed and revised every five years, was not finalized until 2000 . Although fishing methods that had a high impact on the area's habitat, such as bottom trawling, are banned in the park's waters, other forms of commercial and recreational fishing are still allowed. As a result, fish populations continue to decline within the park  and . The LBNP exemplifies the challenges faced by managers of marine protected areas (MPAs) worldwide. Although MPAs have received wide attention as potentially useful approaches to recover and sustain exploited marine resources, their management is often impeded by pressure placed on managers by different stakeholder groups, which frequently resist restrictions imposed on the use of the resources  and . In this paper, we examine the challenges that have arisen in Loreto Bay, and discuss potential mechanisms to improve management of the LBNP so that conflicts among different stakeholders are minimized. An overview of the LBNP is presented, including a description of how Loreto's marine resources are used, a description of the park's management plan and administration, and the current ecological and socioeconomic situation in the park. We describe the issues that currently prevent the success of the park and the causes of these issues, as well as propose a number of local-level solutions based upon dialogue with stakeholders, literature on recreational user fees for MPAs, and an economic valuation survey. We conclude with some general suggestions for conflict resolution that could be implemented in other MPAs facing similar challenges worldwide.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
While solutions to the issues we have identified range from local administrative changes to larger-scale changes in stakeholder behavior, only the most feasible, local-level possibilities will be discussed here; these solutions are not exhaustive, but could contribute to the creation of a viable marine park and a sustainable ecosystem management scenario. They are based on the exploratory study described above. The facts that the park was established, protection zones were instated, funds are being provided, and education of the user groups has been attempted, show that there has been a significant interest in creating a sustainable situation for the LBNP. While this is an important first step, a number of key elements must be addressed for the park to become a successful tool for natural resource management. 5.1. Scientific solutions to unsustainable resource use Attributes often cited as important to MPA success include: reserve size ,  and , habitat diversity ,  and , species mobility and lifecycles , ,  and , and monitoring , , ,  and . In 1999 a Working Group on Marine Reserves (WGMR) at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) produced a set of guidelines and considerations, based on available evidence, for establishing marine reserves; marine reserves were defined by the group as “areas of the ocean completely protected from all extractive and destructive activities,” . According to this definition, only the two “protection zones” (Table 1) are “marine reserves.” The LBNP's protection zones encompass two similar seamounts: Bajo del Cochi and Bajo del Murciealgo (Fig. 1). It has been shown that increasing the size of a marine protected area, such as LBNP's protection zones, can reduce the negative effects of over-fishing  and . In areas that are over-fished, larger zones of complete protection equate to decreased fishing effort, thereby increasing fish stocks  and . In Zone Three, commercial fishers are excluded, but recreational fishing is still allowed. While recreational angling, especially the practice of catch-and-release, is considered consistent with conservation regimes, a number of studies have shown that recreational fishing often has impacts on marine and aquatic communities that can hinder conservation efforts , , , , ,  and , and that can be nearly, if not as deleterious as commercial fishing ,  and . It has been documented that recreational fishing can alter age and size structure of fish communities  and , species density and individual abundance  and , and can decrease genetic diversity, impacting evolutionary changes in fish populations . Catch-and-release, a theoretically benign angling method, often increases fish mortality post-release ,  and , and is therefore not necessarily compatible with no-take MPAs . Many of these effects make an ecosystem less appealing for non-extractive recreational uses like snorkeling and SCUBA diving. The LBNP's marine protection zones make up only 0.07% of the entire park ( Fig. 1) and given that over-fishing is one of the primary causes of depleted fish populations in the area , ,  and , the park would benefit from larger protection zones. Further, the larger a protected area is, the more different habitats it may encompass. Habitat diversity is a critical component of successful marine parks , , ,  and . The seamounts that make up the LBNP's protection zones, while highly productive due to the upwelling of nutrients that they facilitate, are similar in formation, and therefore do not represent the variety of habitat that would benefit the ecosystem. In addition, because fishing is allowed throughout most of the park, habitat degradation is a problem ; even recreational fishing has been shown to have indirect effects on marine ecosystems such as destructive habitat alteration  and . The LBNP would benefit from an expansion of its marine protection zones that exclude any type of fishing, to encompass and protect a greater diversity of habitats. Species mobility and lifecycle are also important factors in the sustainability of an MPA. Marine reserves are more appropriate for less mobile species  and , as their protection is contingent on the individuals staying inside the zone's boundaries. Larval dispersal must be taken into account for a marine reserve to preserve target species , ,  and  because some level of larval retention within a protection zone is necessary for a sustainable sub-population. MPAs can create sustainable situations for both biodiversity and fisheries , but fish lifecycle and mobility factors, in combination with size and placement of protection zones, make up the dynamic balancing act between biodiversity conservation and fisheries sustainability  and . The LBNP's protection zones do not appear to be created based on these complex population dynamics; if they were, however, they would have a more positive impact on Loreto Bay's fisheries and biodiversity. Finally, long-term monitoring and evaluation are critical to the success of MPAs , ,  and . Rigorous monitoring allows for management to adapt as the ecosystem and local needs change and new information is collected. Adaptive management strategies are part of management schemes for marine resources elsewhere ,  and . While some attempts to monitor the trends in the populations of commercially important fish species have been made ,  and , there is no specific long-term monitoring scheme used by the park that would enable adaptation of the management plan. The LBNP's management plan is revised every five years . General indicators written into the plan suggest items that should be monitored to evaluate its effectiveness. These include: local quality of life, the state of commercially important fish populations, community attitudes towards the park, development of activities that are beneficial to conservation, recovery of essential habitats and populations of protected species. While our study addressed the attitudes of one stakeholder group (sports fishermen), future research focused on the monitoring of other important indicators would also be of benefit to the management of the Park. There is no framework in the management plan for how the monitoring of these indicators is to be supported or conducted. While the park is currently the target of research by several external academics and institutions, it would greatly benefit from a framework under which a consistent self-monitoring of its resources could be directed. The lack of funding is the greatest hurdle that must be overcome for such a monitoring program to become a reality (R. López-Espinosa, LBNP Management Authority and F. Arcas, Grupo Ecologista Antares, A.C., personal communication) . Given the level of uncertainty that remains about the intricacies of Loreto Bay's marine ecosystems and the current lack of capacity for such studies to be completed, further designation of protection zones could focus on habitat diversity and replication, rather than exact species distribution and abundance. It has been shown that the use of habitat as a surrogate for biodiversity and individual species can help in the delineation of MPAs when a lack of resources does not allow for more advanced studies of an area  and . 5.2. Community-based solutions to unsustainable resource use Communication and education initiatives, in both the local community and among visitors, must become a priority for the LBNP . Stakeholders have to be involved, at some level, in management processes to create consensus on the park's goals, and standardize individuals' expectations . User groups such as local fishermen and long-term visiting anglers have a vested interest in being directly involved in the development of the park's management plan. Other user groups, for example anglers visiting for short periods of time, will probably not be involved in management planning, but would benefit more from targeted education. Therefore, a regularly scheduled forum for communication between stakeholders such as the Park Authority, commercial fishermen, recreational anglers, and local charter fishing business owners, coupled with education campaigns targeting all groups with information about the ecology of the area, the needs of other user groups, and the marine park's objectives and regulations, could decrease conflict between stakeholders and potentially increase compliance with regulations. In 2002, a Mexican NGO, Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI), performed a public survey to assess the public's awareness of the park's rules and regulations, and to inform the community of the park and its set of laws. One year later, after COBI initiated a communication program that involved informative pamphlets, posters, signs, and talks, a second survey was administered . The percentage of park users that could accurately identify the park's and no-take zones' boundaries was significantly higher in the second survey . A local NGO, Grupo Ecologista Antares, A.C. (GEA), works to educate Loreto's youth, as well as other local and visiting users of the park, about conservation of the area's natural resources and ecosystems. Education and information campaigns of this type are likely to increase the compliance with the park regulations, and they should be made a priority by the LBNP Management Authority. As in the case above, more educated park users tend to be more compliant with rules : (1) because they know them and (2) because they may also understand the rational behind them, thereby contributing to the over-all success of the management plan. It has also been shown that marine protected areas are more successful when all stakeholders' goals are addressed by the management plan and reflected by the management instated . Realistically, each need and desire of every stakeholder cannot be incorporated into one management plan; however with more open discussion and the inclusion of more user groups in the management plan revision process, a maximum number of stakeholder needs may be met, thereby alleviating conflict. For those park users who are not reached by inclusive resource management and education, regulation enforcement is necessary. Finally, a reorganization of the park's management may lead to a more efficient use of the funds that are made available by user fee collection (see next section). Currently, funds collected in Mexico's system of protected areas are transferred to CONANP, which then re-allocates funds to the different protected areas . If the collection system were decentralized, all funds raised by the LBNP could stay in the hands of the LBNP Administration, resulting in more efficient use of a possibly larger funding base. These funds could be used, for example, towards better regulation enforcement in the park or more education initiatives. Stakeholders often express concern that user fees are not used properly for protected area management (K. Stamieszkin, personal observation) ,  and ; if the fee system were decentralized, it might appear more trustworthy to recreational visitors, making them less skeptical of paying the park entrance fee. 5.3. Possible solutions to inadequate funding via user fees The proposed solutions require greater funding than is currently available to the park's Management Authority. An increase in the daily entrance fee that visitors pay to use the park could secure more funding to improve its management , , , , , , ,  and . Approximately 3936 recreational anglers visited the LBNP in 2007 (R. López-Espinosa, LBNP Management Authority, personal communication). A typical fishing trip by a recreational angler to the LBNP is 10 days long (J. Wielgus, unpublished data), so the additional revenue that could be generated by increasing the daily entrance fee from US$2 to US$8 is US$236,160. Our economic valuation survey showed that people who live part of the year in Baja California are generally willing to pay less then others for using the park's resources. They may believe that they should not be charged for using a local resource, and their low WTP may reflect “protest responses”  for the idea of having to pay an increased fee. In their study, Lindsey and Holmes (2002) reveal a similar phenomenon: local tourists were willing to pay less then foreign tourists to support an MPA. However, the study also showed that a higher proportion of local visitors, as opposed to foreign visitors, were willing to pay a user fee at all. A multi-tier fee system may work in this case; currently Loretanos do not have to pay to enter the park. Likewise, Mexican nationals could pay less than international guests. Grewell  suggests that protests expressed by individuals against user fees, like those collected from visitors of the LBNP, are often due to an information gap that leads to invalid concerns about such costs, and that could be closed via education. While it has been shown that increasing recreational user fees does not always decrease visitation rates  and , it is feared that increasing the current entrance fee to the LBNP may reduce its number of visitors, as has been observed in other similar situations  and ; for example, anglers may fish for fewer days, or may choose a different travel destination . In the economic valuation survey, 33.3% of the respondents stated a maximum WTP less than $8. In the extreme case that an increase of the entrance fee to $8 would lead to a 33% reduction in the number of anglers that currently visit Loreto, the revenue generated by the increased fee ($209,920) would still be 2.7 times larger than the revenue generated by the current fee ($78,720); any reduction in the number of anglers fishing in the park would eliminate an equivalent amount of impact that those anglers would have had on the ecosystem. The additional funds could be used for education campaigns, increasing capacity for regulation enforcement, much needed ecological monitoring, and possibly to subsidize start-up costs for commercial fishermen who are willing to switch professions into the eco-tourism business, mainly recreational fishing, snorkeling and SCUBA diving, further decreasing fishing pressure and potentially habitat degradation in the LBNP .