Balancing extractive and non-extractive uses in marine conservation plans

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Socioeconomic considerations are crucial in the design process of marine protected areas (MPAs). Most systematic planning processes that incorporate socioeconomic aspects mainly concentrate on extractive user interests by integrating spatial data on fisheries thus overlooking other interests such as non-extractive recreational uses of the marine environment such as wildlife observation, diving or kayaking. Additionally, most theory on systematic spatial conservation planning is focused on the design of single zone reserves. The present study, focused in Wales (UK), uses the systematic conservation software Marxan with Zones to quantify the benefits of integrating extractive and non-extractive interests in the planning process of MPAs and assesses whether the impacts on affected users differs between single vs. multiple zones MPAs. Results indicate that MPAs designed with consideration of non-extractive interests reduced the potential economic impacts on this sector by approximately 50% more than MPAs designed without that consideration, without extra cost to the extractive sector. The design of a multiple-zone MPA outperformed that of a single-zone MPA by reducing and generating more equitable impacts for both extractive and non-extractive interests. This study highlights the importance of including the interests of any groups that might be impacted by the designation of an MPA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
JournalMarine Policy
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2014
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