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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Through the Author's Eyes: Why are we succeeding and why aren't we succeeding in managing our own marine resources in the South Pacific region


The South Pacific Islands have a massive ocean with numerous marine resources; however, these resources can be overfished or even depleted as the majority of humans rely on these natural resources as their sustenance. Having the right strategy with the precise marine conservation toolkit is very critical for the local communities in the South Pacific for conserving and protecting their marine resources. There are many marine management tools used throughout the Pacific region within communities, such as Marine Managed Areas (MMAs), Community based fisheries management (CBFM) and locally managed marine areas (LMMAs). These marine management tools are formed from a variety of traditional conservation methods; however, the western perspective does not always take into account these methods. In this case, this research mainly focuses on how the change in Governance concerning regulations and structure can achieve the conservation goals of LMMAs in the Pacific region, which leads to the two research questions; (1) Does an LMMA design process that integrates traditional conservation methods result in more favorable conservation outcomes than one that does not? (2) How do different models of social hierarchy (such as chiefly driven or community driven) impact compliance with LMMA rules? The conservation outcomes and LMMA governance are the main indicator and predictor, respectively, to determine the strength of LMMA. Furthermore, this research was based on a collection of several articles, reports and literature reviews using Google Scholar. The collected data are then analyzed through Atlas.Ti8 and tableau. The results show that islands which used traditional methods have a higher increased percentage in fisheries productivity, coral reef health and CPUE, which definitely determines that LMMA design process that integrates traditional methods results in more favorable conservation outcomes than one that does not. In relation to that, Social hierarchy (chiefly/ community and national governance) can impact compliance with LMMA rules. Chiefly governance results in stronger compliance and weak poaching, while national governance results in weak or poor compliance with higher poaching.

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