Volume 58

Socioeconomic Information for Managing Fisheries in the Negril Marine Park

Pena, M., K. Blackman, C. Hanson, P. McConney, M. Miller
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Date: November, 2005

Pages: 329-336

Event: Proceedings of the Fifty Eighth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute


The Negril Marine Park (NMP) was declared a marine protected area (MPA) in 1998. It comprises 160 square kilometers of coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves, beaches and cliffs at the western end of Jamaica, and is the marine component of the larger Negril Environmental Protection Area (EPA) that includes five watersheds and a major wetland (the Great Morass). The NMP is co-managed by the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society (NCRPS), a multi-stakeholder non-governmental organization, under a delegation instrument signed by the government of Jamaica in 2002. Government policy emphasizes effective conservation and sustainable livelihoods as key management goals. Fishing is second only to tourism as the major marine economic activity in the NMP. However, many habitats are severely degraded, and the park is heavily fished in inshore areas by people suspected to be living in or near poverty. Research was conducted in 2004 and 2005 to incorporate socioeconomic information on these people into the first fisheries management plan (FMP) for the NMP. The SocMon Caribbean methodology was used. This included secondary data analysis, interviews with key informants, a survey of households in ten settlements in and bordering the NMP, and validation workshops to confirm the findings with participants while promoting stakeholder involvement in management. Information on education, perceptions of resource status, management responsibility and participation, communication, interactions between fisheries and tourism and among fishers, income sources and livelihood strategies were incorporated into the fisheries management plan. Incorporating socioeconomic information in marine protected area and fisheries management is highly recommended, especially in situations where conservation decisions are likely to impact negatively on livelihoods, and mitigation measures or alternatives need to be developed with the resource users.

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