Due primarily to overharvesting, marine fisheries have been declining for decades and achieving sustainable fisheries has proved challenging. Top-down, enforcement-centric fisheries management has been largely ineffective, particularly for small-scale and coral reef-associated fisheries. Community-based management (CBM), where stakeholders are empowered to take active management roles is one alternative. While there are several examples of successful CBM accomplished in collaboration with a government, there are few studies of CBM that is conducted independently of the government and without legal enforcement. Here, we test the effectiveness of CBM without enforcement in two independent Hawaiian communities. Both community groups chose to target a multispecies assemblage of intertidal, broadcast-spawning patellogastropods (Cellana spp., ‘opihi) which comprise a crashed fishery that has not recovered despite four decades of top-down management (minimum size limit). To reverse the decline in ‘opihi abundance, both community groups established “Rest Areas” where fishers were asked to avoid harvesting ‘opihi. Both communities encouraged voluntary compliance through positive outreach and education, and there was no enforcement, legal or otherwise. Abundance surveys were conducted for one species (C. exarata) 2-4 times per year, weather permitting, for three years both within and up to ~1000 m beyond both Rest Areas’ borders using a protocol informed by both traditional Hawaiian and Western scientific knowledge entailing participation by all stakeholders. Significant increases in abundance both within and down-current, but not up-current, from both Rest Areas indicate that the CBM resulted in compliance, decreased mortality of reproductively-mature ‘opihi in Rest Areas, increased self-recruitment and larval subsidy to open areas. There were indications that environmental factors also affected ‘opihi abundance and modulated the effectiveness of the Rest Areas. Overall, this study indicates that substantial compliance can be engendered by CBM without enforcement, and that fisheries management should explicitly employ actions that engender compliance independently of enforcement.
|Advisor:||Bird, Christopher E., Beseres Pollack, Jennifer|
|School:||Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi|
|Department:||Marine Biology Program|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 58/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Wildlife Conservation, Ecology, Natural Resource Management|
|Keywords:||Broadcast-spawning, Community-based management, Opihi, Rest areas, Sustainability, Voluntary-compliance|
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