RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN’S PERCEPTIONS OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
Apparent failure of traditional management approaches to stall declines of economically important fish populations has led to new management approaches including marine protected areas (MPAs). Recreational organizations and associations are not pleased with management’s proposed use of MPAs. A pilot study was conducted to address the perception of recreational fishermen including the level of awareness of MPAs among recreational fishermen and their attitudes and concerns towards MPAs. My finding show the majority of recreational fishermen are in support of MPAs but have reservations with no-take areas. The respondents were knowledgeable in the benefits of MPAs but incompletely understood the designation process. I recommend that managers devise an outreach plan to educate recreational fishermen about MPAs and help to open a dialog with this user group and conservation groups on how to best employ MPAs to address both conservation and recreational fishing needs.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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