Considerations during the Proposal Stages of a Marine Fisheries Reserve in Conil de la Frontera (Spain)
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AdvisorFlorido del Corral, David; Del Valls Casillas, Ángel
DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra
With the fishing sector presently going through a range of problems internationally, the creation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Marine Fishery Reserves (MFRs) is a choice in which various fisheries, environmental and research groups are showing a stronger belief. Within such systems, conventional measures are replaced by an ‘ecosystem-approach’ and stakeholder participation is considered fundamental. This investigation takes a look at the internal workings as well as external influences during the development of initiatives for the creation of such a MFR around an artisanal fishing port found on the south-west Atlantic coast of Spain, precisely, Conil de la Frontera. Attendance to related events, networking to gain access to key information and informants and participation in directly or indirectly linked projects uncover the fields to be explored and provide the required data. A detailed look is taken at initiatives to implement bottom-up management in Conil following steps of MFR creation through the same management approach in Galicia, which here takes the role of the ‘control’ case-study. Details of views of the fishing sector towards such initiatives are revealed, together with zonation plans and the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the sector, whilst facing this new venture, are uncovered. Additionally presently involved stakeholders, and others with probable future relevance were analyzed through the study of their historical and current roles and responsibilities. Finally, themes which were found to be linked to the area proposed for the MFR creation and which could form part of, or influence the system within the reserve, were investigated. These included: illegal/pirate fishing activities, projects of ‘offshore’ wind farms, the controversial Bluefin Tuna issue, Aquaculture and Fishing Tourism. The final analysis of the results acquired lead to the conclusion that in sight of the new challenges which the fishing sector will have to face, insecurities are based on the scenario being shared by more stakeholders and moreover being influenced by higher level, foreign authorities. For this, an adaptive and updating outlook of the MFR Committee/Managing team is advised. Mistrust between participants is pointed out as another major weakness, which may be reduced if groups are well represented within the management team or efficiently communicated with it. Diversity and objectivity are other suggested qualities to mitigate mistrust and conflicts. On the other hand, the traditional setting and cultural heritage inspires confidence within the sector and this in awarded by support by various other groups based on the recognition of this heritage, and also of the ‘local ecological knowledge’. Adaptation of institutions, to the novel management philosophy is also deemed essential. Meanwhile ‘recreational’ fishermen, especially the underwater type, seem to be found in a precarious position and creativity and innovation is called for to design inclusive plans rather than exclusive ones. As for real damaging activities, control through team effort by all users on field is called for. As for the faiths of future ventures as is aquaculture, offshore wind farming and fishing tourism, these depend on their results with respect to environmental sustainability and economic feasibility, and also on decisions at higher levels. Within its limits, this investigation aims as serving as a memoire and management tool for future managers of MFRs in Conil and elsewhere.
SubjectsMarine Fisheries Reserve, Marine Protected Area, Bottom-up Management, Conil de la Frontera; marine fisheries reserve; marine protected area; bottom-up management; Conil de la Frontera
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