Page 2 - HimesAH(2003)
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390 A. H. Himes


Marine resource management and related stakeholder conflicts have been clearly de-
fined in recent decades as pressing issues worldwide. On a global scale, humans and
economies depend on the existence and abundance of marine resources to satisfy their
needs and wants on recreational, aesthetic, and economic dimensions. Commercial users
rely on fisheries and aquaculture in many regions of the world, while beaches and rocky
cliffs provide for swimming, fishing, beachcombing, and sunbathing as prominent lei-
sure activities. These areas are among the most productive natural systems available to
humans. They also include some of the most sensitive ecosystems in the world (Scura et
al., 1992). The problem of resource depletion already exists from conflict between the
requirements of the natural environment and social needs.

     In the case of fishery resources throughout the world, as many as 25–30% of species
are overfished, and another 44% are fully exploited (FAO, 1999). Previous governance
efforts to sustain fisheries have frequently failed and have often exacerbated the prob-
lem of biological overexploitation and economic inefficiency (Lauck et al., 1998). With-
out proper management, the attributes of the coastal and marine environments that
humans find attractive will be destroyed (Vallega, 1999).

     With the realization that traditional fishery governance systems that rely on con-
cepts such as maximum sustainable yield and optimum yield often fail (as evidenced by
overfishing and habitat loss), a movement has commenced toward the development of
more ecosystem-oriented approaches as opposed to traditional single-species manage-
ment efforts. As an alternative to the single-species approach, managers and scientists
have rapidly been designing and implementing marine protected areas (MPAs) through-
out the world with the hopes of structuring access to marine resources on an ecosystem
level. Within the last 20 years, MPAs and marine reserves have become a widely advo-
cated form of marine conservation for protecting these valuable resources and inter-
weaving fisheries management and tourism (Agardy, 1997; Bohnsack, 1993; Committee
on the Evaluation, Design, and Monitoring, 2001; Kelleher, Bleakley, & Wells, 1995;
Ray, 1999).

     Benefits from MPAs have been widely referred to in academic literature, from in-
creases in biomass seen in New Zealand and Florida’s Merritt Island National Wildlife
Refuge (Johnson, Funicelli, & Bohnsack, 1999; Kelly, Scott, & MacDiarmid, 2002) to
the value of MPAs in larval dispersal and sources and sinks (Crowder et al., 2000;
Gerber, Kareiva, & Bascompte, 2002). The results from these studies help to prove that
MPAs are an effective way of integrating precautionary measures into fisheries manage-
ment and protecting fish from high fishing pressure, both of which have become integral
in the debate for the use of MPAs in marine conservation (Roberts, 1997). MPAs also
have the potential to effectively address multiple management objectives, such as limit-
ing resource use, protecting vital ecosystems, and enhancing economically important
activities (e.g., tourism), and to allow multiple stakeholders to use the same resources, a
must in reducing conflicts and concerns (Salm & Clark, 2000).

     As observed in many regions of the world, the increasing anthropogenic pressures
on the Mediterranean environment have necessitated the development of new conserva-
tion and preservation methods, including widespread use of MPAs. In the fisheries sec-
tor alone, the growth of the Mediterranean population, technological development to
increase fishing efficiency, overfishing of target populations, and habitat degradation
from pollution have led to a decline in near-shore fish stocks (Vallega, 1999; Juanes,
2001). In response to the increasing environmental degradation, between 1982 and 1994,
the Mediterranean saw an expansion in the use of coastal management and protected
areas of all types. The total number of protected areas increased from 65 to 135, 53 of
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