Ensuring the effective management of a Mediterranean MPA requires good governance and an ecosystem-based approach that integrates the fisheries sector, particularly small-scale fishers, as legitimate actors in the decision-making process. The Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) Governance Toolkit is the cornerstone of a bottom-up, “towards co-management” approach; it describes more than 20 actual measures to enhance the environmental and socio-economic effectiveness of MPAs in SSF management, and the degree of feasibility of each.
No particular technological infrastructure is required for the process of formulating and implementing the SSF Governance Toolkit. Technological requirements may arise involving specific tools that can be adopted, such as the use of video and photo cameras to improve surveillance and patrolling.
Initial training may be required to establish a platform of cooperation between SSF fishers and MPA managers. Specific training activities may be implemented involving specific tools that can be adopted, such as training to enhance the capacity of rangers to enforce fisheries regulations within MPA boundaries, to improve the capacity of fishermen in surveillance activities, and to build the capacity of fishermen to monitor and report catches, sightings of endangered cetaceans and sea turtles, rare sightings and invasive species, and marine litter.
The cost and time needed to implement each of the tools included in the Toolkit have been assessed on a threepoint scale (low-cost, medium-cost and high-cost) by the managers of the pilot MPAs, taking as a reference the annual budget of their MPA, the manpower available to them in their MPA and the number of stakeholders they have to engage in their MPA. Based on the managers’ experience, the attributes with the median highest needs (in terms of cost, time and stakeholder involvement) to implement the corresponding tools were Enforcement and Improving SSF sustainability.
All the tools and management measures that are described in the toolkit have been tested in the 11 pilot MPAs. They have been grouped into five main categories:
The SSF Governance Toolkit illustrates the results of testing these measures, and the lessons learned from their implementation.
Recommended implementation frequency
An effective and balanced co-management system must be a dynamic and adaptive process, since MPAs’ conservation related targets can vary over time, fisheries can evolve, like any other economic sector, and, in particular, the status of the environment (including fish stocks) can worsen/improve. For this reason, the system must have a baseline “SSF management plan” and anticipate a shared “control room” (e.g. a formal committee), where MPA managing bodies and fishers meet regularly and take decisions to tackle the changes needed to improve the efficiency of the system and the effectiveness of its actions in relation to the goals set.
By implementing the tools included in the Governance Toolkit for managing Small-Scale Fisheries in MPAs, an effective and shared management system can be built for Small-Scale Fisheries in Mediterranean MPAs.
The SSF Governance Toolkit can be a useful instrument for any MPA manager who wants to improve governance in their MPA through better cooperation with local small-scale professional fishers. The tested tools can address some of the most recurring problems any MPA manager encounters when dealing with SSF in or around the MPA.
Butrint National Park (Albania); Cap d’Ail marine reserve (France); Karaburun- Sazan MPA (Albania); Lastovo MPA (Croatia); Pequerolle marine reserve (France); Regno di Nettuno MPA (Italy); Samaria MPA (Greece); Pelagos Sanctuary (Italy-Monaco-France); Secche della Meloria MPA (Italy); Secche di Tor Paterno MPA (Italy); Velebit Channel Marine Reserve (Croatia).
Project contact: : FISHMPABLUE2
Links of interest