FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries No. 4, Suppl. 4 - FISHERIES MANAGEMENT 4. Marine protected areas and fisherise

FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries No. 4, Suppl. 4


4. Marine protected areas and fisheries

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Rome 2011


Fisheries management. 4. Marine protected areas and fisheries. FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries. No. 4, Suppl. 4. Rome, FAO. 2011. 198p.

This document on Marine protected areas (MPAs) and fisheries has been developed to provide information and guidance on the use of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the context of fisheries. As MPA implementation moves ahead in the arena of marine biodiversity conservation, many people feel that the fisheries aspects are not fully understood nor always appropriately taken into account, and that guidance specific to this sector is needed. These Guidelines look specifically at fisheries features of MPAs, but also address the interface between fisheries management and biodiversity conservation and provide support for MPAs with multiple objectives.

The Guidelines are divided into two sections: the first discusses definitions and context, and provides background information on fisheries management, the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) and MPAs as a tool for fisheries management, including socio-economic and biological impacts. The second section considers the planning and implementing of MPAs including the institutional, legal and policy context, the planning process and actual implementation considerations. Conclusions and future directions are offered in the last chapter of this section, while a selection of annexes offers in-depth information on a few key issues.

The document highlights the need for increased coordination across sectors and agencies/departments. Integration of diverse interests and viewpoints is required if we are to successfully manage our oceans and their resources for future generations. As with all fisheries management, good governance – including adequate stakeholder participation – is key to successful and equitable management outcomes.

Table of Contents

Preparation of this document
Acronyms and abbreviations


Guidelines on marine protected areas in the context of fisheries
Purpose and target audience
Structure of the Guidelines

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Part 1 – What are MPAs and what do they do?

1. MPA definition and context

1.1 What is an MPA?
1.2 What are the primary reasons for establishing MPAs?
1.3 What are the risks of MPAs?
1.4 What is an MPA network?
1.5 Why do we need MPA networks?

2. Fisheries management and the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)

2.1 What is fisheries management?
2.2 What is the ecosystem approach to fisheries?
2.3 What about the precautionary approach?
2.4 How are mpa s and other spatial management tools used in fisheries management?
2.5 In what situations are MPAs useful as a fisheries management tool?
2.6 How can MPAs be used to bridge fisheries management and biodiversity conservation?

3. Biological and ecological effects of mpa s in a fisheries context

3.1 What are the key factors that determine the effects of an MPA or MPA network?
3.2 What happens to fish and their ecosystems within MPAs?
3.3 How do MPAs affect fishery production outside their boundaries and can they control fish mortality?
3.4 What happens in MPA networks with regard to sustaining fish populations and supporting fishing yields?
3.5 How do MPAs work as a hedge against uncertainty?

4. Social and economic impact: the human dimensions of MPAs

4.1 What are the socio-economic benefits associated with MPAs?
4.2 What are the key socio-economic challenges when establishing MPAs close to fishery-dependent coastal communities?
4.3 What are the socio-economic implications of designating MPAs in a poverty context?
4.4 How are MPAs perceived by fishers and other stakeholders?
4.5 How are MPAs likely to affect fishers’ behaviour, fishing effort and fishing capacity?
4.6 What are the social and economic advantages of MPA networks over single MPAs?
4.7 Why are the human dimensions of MPAs so important?

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PART 2 – Planning and implementing MPAs

5. Legal, institutional and policy frameworks for MPAs

5.1 Why are appropriate legal, institutional and policy frameworks important for MPAs?
5.2 What are the main international legal frameworks relevant to MPAs?
5.3 What can be done to address problems in national legal and institutional frameworks?
5.4 What are the key policy framework considerations and how
do MPAs relate to broader spatial management strategies?
5.5 What are the institutional requirements at the level of individual MPAs?
5.6 What about MPAs in transboundary and international waters?
5.7 What is the institutional and legal situation for MPAs in international waters?

6. The mpa planning process

6.1 What are the main entry points for MPAs into fisheries and EAF management?
6.2 How do MPAs relate to overarching national or sectorial policy goals and development objectives?
6.3 What is the process for planning an MPA?
6.4 When and how should stakeholders be involved in MPA planning?
6.5 How are the issues to be addressed by MPAs identified and prioritized?
6.6 What is a vision and what are useful MPA goals and objectives?
6.7 How are the operational objectives for an MPA set?
6.8 What are the key MPA design considerations?
6.9 What is an MPA management plan?

7. MPA implementation

7.1 What administrative arrangements are needed for MPA implementation?
7.2 What are the key considerations when drafting rules and regulations for MPAs?
7.3 What about compliance with and enforcement of MPA management rules and regulations?
7.4 What do capacity-building and incentives mean in the context of MPA implementation?
7.5 Why are information and communication important in MPA implementation?
7.6 What resolution mechanisms are available in the case of conflict in implementing MPAs?
7.7 How are MPAs monitored and what is management effectiveness?
7.8 What is adaptive management in the context of MPA implementation?
7.9 How can long-term political commitment and sustainable resourcing for MPAs be addressed?

8. Information for MPAs 129

8.1 What is the basic information needed for MPA planning and implementation and how it is it generally collected?
8.2 What biological and ecological information and data collection are needed for MPA?
8.3 What social information on coastal communities is required for MPAs?
8.4 What are the key MPA financial and economic information needs?
8.5 What information is needed to undertake an institutional assessment for MPAs?
8.6 What knowledge and information are needed to design an MPA network?
8.7 How can tools such as geographic information systems, scenario development and modelling help MPA planning and implementation?
8.8 How do we cope with information-deficient situations when planning and implementing MPAs?
8.9 Is there a need for more research on MPAs?

9. Lessons learned and future directions

9.1 What are the key lessons on MPAs and fisheries?
9.2 What is the future of MPAs?

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Annex 1 – MPAs and MPA networks in the high seas

Governance regimes for the high seas and areas beyond national jurisdiction

Annex 2 – What amount of marine protected area is needed to sustain fish populations?

Spawning per recruit and mobility
MPA size and spacing
Export of eggs and larvae

Annex 3 – Models used for fisheries management and MPAs

Modelling the effects of MPAs on fish mortality

Annex 4 – Conflict management

Sources of conflict
Typology of conflicts
The concept of conflict management
Conflict assessment
Approaches to conflict management
Selecting an approach
Further reading



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