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Perceptions of fishermen towards marine protected areas in Cambodia and the Philippines

Perceptions of fishermen towards marine protected areas in Cambodia and the Philippines BioscienceHorizons Volume 5 2012 10.1093/biohorizons/hzs007 Research article Perceptions of fishermen towards marine protected areas in Cambodia and the Philippines Mark Hamilton* School of Biological Sciences, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK. *Corresponding author: 12 Moffat Road, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 1NJ, UK. Email: m.hamilton.08@aberdeen.ac.uk Supervisors: Dr B. E. Scott and Dr C. Pita, School of Biological Sciences, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be used to conserve parts of marine ecosystems, including fish stocks exploited by fisher - ies. Social acceptance of MPAs must be achieved if they are to function as effective management tools. Artisanal fishers oper - ating around tropical coral reef areas were questioned in an attempt to investigate their acceptance and perceptions of MPAs. Fishers from two areas were surveyed: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia, where MPAs are a new concept to fishers, and Southern Leyte, the Philippines, where MPAs have been used in management for over 10 years. Fishers’ opinions of MPAs from each study site were compared and variables affecting fishers’ opinions of MPAs were also investigated at each site. Although small sample sizes of fishers were observed at each study site, results showed that the majority of fishers at each site accepted MPAs as a management tool. Cambodian fishers felt the state of marine resources had worsened in the past decade (with regards to the number of fish, the size of fish and the number of species present in their catch), whereas most Filipino fishers had noticed an opposite trend. Older Cambodian fishers had greater acceptance of MPAs; age did not affect Filipino fishers’ acceptance, and did not affect any other opinions fishers had of MPAs at either site. Community-based management of MPAs was fishers’ preference at both sites. The study shows evidence of MPA support in Cambodia, with mobile gear users being more willing to be involved in MPA management. Most Filipino fishers felt that their MPA improved their catches, although there was evi - dence of conflict between fishers since the MPA was implemented. Key words: marine protected areas, artisanal fishery management, tropical fisheries, acceptance Submitted in May 2012; accepted in September 2012 Introduction need to be carefully considered during the planning stages, for example, creating an ‘MPA network’ (Moffitt, White and Marine protected areas (MPAs) are management tools where Botsford, 2011). MPA networks consist of several MPAs that human activities in areas of the marine environment, such as are sufficiently close to one another, allowing processes such as fishing, are prohibited or monitored in certain areas ( Sale et al., larval and adult dispersal to occur (Roberts et al., 2001). 2005; Moffitt, White and Botsford, 2011 ). Implementation can MPAs in the system can act as sources (supplying recruits to be based on a variety of factors, including conservation of other areas) or sinks (receiving exports from elsewhere) for fish habitats or ecosystems and management of commercial fish and larvae, complementing other MPAs (Williams et al., 2009; stocks. MPAs have been seen to be successful in protecting spe- Christie et al., 2010). Russ et al. (2008) report that the densi- cies biodiversity and the ecosystem (Teh, Teh and Chung, ties of fished species increased substantially within a large 2008; Fletcher, Saunders and Herbert, 2011; Mouillot et al., MPA network established on the Great Barrier Reef off the 2011), making them an effective tool in conservation manage- coast of north-eastern Australia compared with fished areas ment. The size, number and location of MPAs, as well as the nearby, illustrating the positive effects that MPAs can deliver. population dynamics of the species present, are factors that In tropical systems such as the Great Barrier Reef, coral reefs © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 are crucial for fish that feed on coral, which in turn maintain (2010) suggest that the public and stakeholders from multi- the dynamics of a healthy reef, providing other species with ple sectors should be involved, with each fully understanding shelter (Cheal et al., 2008); therefore, coral conservation and their role in the process and also the roles the MPA is larvae dispersal are important in these areas to prevent declines designed to fulfil. Alcala and Russ (2006) state that two in both coral cover and species dependent on coral. Many MPAs in the Philippines have been very successful since coral reef areas have already experienced a reduction in biodi- management changed from a government top-down versity (Graham et al., 2008). MPAs can also be designed to approach to co-management, involving locals and the gov- protect individual areas of high biodiversity, such as coral reefs ernment. Local involvement in the management and moni- or habitats containing endemic species to maintain species toring of MPAs in the Philippines has been seen to make the richness and genetic diversity in that area (Allen, 2008; Miller maintenance of MPAs easy and cheap once they have been and Ayre, 2008). Individual MPAs can be incorporated into implemented, causing the strategy to become popular MPA networks as management develops, providing benefits throughout the country (Uychiaoco et al., 2005). The way for relatively static species and also migratory species; this is a MPAs are managed is important in gaining support of locals more appropriate strategy than one extensive MPA for the and fishers; Himes (2003) found that fishers who felt unin- conservation of migratory species which would result in a sub- formed about MPA management in a top-down approach stantial loss of fishing ground for fisheries in the area (Le did not trust managers, and suggests that managers should Quesne and Codling, 2009). involve locals by asking their opinions and providing them with explanations at each management stage. Kareiva (2006) A huge problem around coral reef systems, and many other suggests that the local resource users in poor communities parts of the world, is overfishing. MPAs are a method of tack- would make better managers of marine resources than richer ling the detrimental effects of overfishing on fish populations, communities elsewhere, as the locals show a greater, broader such as reduced mean length as fishing pressure increases interest in their home area and rely directly on the resources (Cinner and McClanahan, 2006). Fishing can also disrupt the for their livelihoods, and do not have only an economic whole ecosystem, for example, when herbivorous fish or inver - interest; when managers are situated far from the natural tebrates are depleted, increased algal growth can have a nega- resources, it also makes it harder to enforce regulations to tive effect on coral growth (Hough-Guldberg et al., 2007; manage resources and gain compliance from the locals. Hughes, 2008), worsening the situation further for species dependent on coral. Management plans such as gear restric- The aim of this study is to investigate fishers’ opinions and tions can allow local fish stocks to recover providing an increase acceptance of MPAs in two countries, Cambodia and the in resources available to fishers in the area (McClanahan, Philippines. The two areas that were visited in each country Hicks, and Darling, 2008). Although fishers lose fishing had different levels of marine resource protection. Fishers in grounds, no-take MPAs provide better protection for exploited Cambodia had little experience of MPAs as a very low number species than partially protected areas and increase fishers’ existed along the country’s coast; the Ream MPA is one exam- yields in the long-term (Lester and Halpern, 2008), with the ple (Depondt and Green, 2006), although MPA efforts in exception of fisheries for highly mobile species (Hilborn et al., Cambodia are recent and conservation has been a low priority 2004); Willis, Millar and Babcock (2003) found that the den- in the past (Braatz, 1992). A new MPA was implemented close sity of a moderately mobile species was greater within no-take to the study site in Cambodia during data collection of the MPAs in New Zealand compared with the fished waters sur - present study [2011] and a new MPA has been proposed at the rounding them. Fished species survive better within MPAs and study site. The Philippines had several MPAs in the area stud- adult individuals proceed to move to surrounding areas where ied and 1169 throughout the country (in 2007; Aliño et al., fishing occurs; the export from MPAs increases fishers’ yields 2011), including some of the best known examples of MPA and is known as the ‘spillover effect’ (Alcala and Russ, 2006). success (Alcala and Russ, 2006). Fishers with a better knowl- Besides overfishing, coral reef communities face a range of edge of MPAs may show different levels of acceptance and issues such as climate change and ocean acidification (Hoegh- perceptions towards them than fishers who know little about Guldberg et al., 2007; Munday et al., 2008). The resilience of them. Findings will be used to show similarities and differ- coral reefs refers to their ability to withstand changes in the ences expressed by fishers, within and between countries. This environment and how well they can recover or adapt (West and information will give an insight into the aspects of MPAs that Salm, 2003); therefore, if fisheries are managed effectively, the fishers agree with and support, and also any preferences they result is healthier, more resilient ecosystems that have a better may have in terms of marine resource management. chance at coping with natural, stochastic changes (Hughes The hypotheses investigated in this study concern fishers’ et al., 2005; Keller et al., 2009). acceptance and perceptions of MPAs based on: (i) responses The success of MPAs as a means of management depends received between two study sites with differing levels of largely on participation from the people involved, including MPA management and (ii) fishers’ characteristics that may fishers. MPAs are more likely to succeed in their specific pur - affect their views of MPAs within each country. Both study poses if there is input and agreement from a range of stake- sites were concerned with MPA management to conserve holders that impact or are impacted by an MPA, for example, coral reef areas with similar species present; this meant that fishers and scientists (Klein et al., 2008). Gleason et al. the areas had something in common, and differed mainly in 2 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article the level of resource protection at each site. The aims were influencing fishers’ acceptance and perceptions of MPAs to survey fishers at each site using a similar approach to will be investigated with artisanal fishers in Cambodia and highlight any differences in perceptions towards MPAs, and the Philippines. also to shed light on any explanatory factors that affect fish- ers’ support for and opinions of MPAs. Materials and Methods Fishers’ opinions are not uniform and knowledge of the Study site variability of fishers’ opinions is likely to help increase MPA success (Dimech et al., 2009). Factors which influence fish- Data were collected on the island of Koh Rong, Cambodia, ers’ opinions and acceptance of MPAs, based on findings from July to August 2011 and in the barangay (village) of from other peer-reviewed studies, were used to test the Napantao, Panoan Island, Southern Leyte, in the Philippines, hypotheses. The age of fishers can influence their actions from September to October 2011. Both sites were the loca- and perceptions, including their opinions towards the man- tion of Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) expedition bases, a agement of their fishery (Tzanatos et al., 2006). Abernethy not-for-profit conservation organization dedicated to survey- et al. (2007) suggest that older fishers may have better ing coral reefs and working with local communities to pro- knowledge about reef dynamics and their natural resources mote sustainable management of marine resources. Figure 1 than younger fishers. Fishers operating different gear types shows each study site where data were collected from fishers can have varying opinions towards MPAs and restricted and other interviewees. MPAs were a new concept for fishers areas, for example, Blythe et al. (2002) found that static in Cambodia, and CCC had just begun work there alongside gear operators felt they should have their own fishing zones the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Government of that excluded mobile gear operators; however, the mobile Cambodia with the aim to implement an MPA around the gear operators felt they should be allowed to share fishing whole island of Koh Rong and the neighbouring island of zones with the static gear users. Pita, Pierce and Theodossiou Koh Rong Samloem. The fishing grounds available to local (2010) found that there are also differences between static communities in Cambodia increased in 2001 at the expense and mobile gear fishers’ opinions regarding the manage- of the number and size of commercial fishing areas, however, ment of MPAs, with most static fishers perceiving restric- the enforcement of regulations by government authorities tions as beneficial whereas fishers who used mobile gear and effective management have been poor (Ratner, 2006), were less in favour of the restrictions and did not feel as encouraging conservation groups to take action. In the involved in decision-making processes. If fishers are involved Philippines, fishers were familiar with MPAs, as several had in a management scheme they agree with, such as MPAs, already been implemented in the Sogod Bay area; the MPA in there is a greater chance that they will support that manage- Napantao, where the survey took place, was implemented by ment as they feel a sense of responsibility (Alcala and Russ, the Provincial Government in 1996 as a means to protect 2006). Fishers’ acceptance of MPAs has been seen to be natural marine resources for the local fishers and also due to greater when they are involved in the management and also western influences, urging the conservation of biodiversity when the fishers perceive the benefits of MPAs (such as (Chaigneau, 2008). The management of Napantao MPA increases in their catch and providing nursery grounds for improved substantially from 2002 when CCC began assess- fish) from their own fishing experiences (Gelcich, Godoy ing the state of the coral reef and working with the villagers and Castilla, 2009; Leleu et al., 2012). These factors in the Southern Leyte Coral Reef Conservation Project. Figure 1. Study sites on Koh Rong island, Cambodia, and Napantao, Southern Leyte, the Philippines, showing the locations of CCC expedition bases in the villages where the surveys took place (filled red circle). 3 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Table 1 summarizes the details of MPAs at each study site. Fishers from both countries fished in an artisanal man- ner, but differed in the type of gear they used (the gear most frequently used by Cambodian and Filipino fishers were seine nets and hooks and lines, respectively). The MPA studied in the Philippines was much smaller than the one proposed around Koh Rong, resulting in far fewer fishers exploiting it, however, fishers in Napantao all fished near the MPA, meaning that fishing pressure may have been rela- tively high for the given area around the MPA. Figure 2 shows the location of the MPA where data were collected in the present study, as well as other surrounding MPAs, in the Sogod Bay area of the Philippines. The figure also shows details of how each MPA was managed in 2010 (from work done by CCC). Questionnaire design Questionnaires were created to investigate the opinions of fishers towards various aspects of MPAs and assess their support for MPAs. The questionnaires included two sec- tions: (A) section with personal questions about the fisher (such as their age, fishing methods, species frequently caught, religion, etc.) and (B) section regarding fishers’ opinions Figure 2. MPAs present in the Sogod Bay area, the Philippines, in about the effects of MPAs and their willingness to be 2010, including management status (green = well-managed, involved in the management process. For the latter section, yellow = poorly managed and red = no management) determined by many of the questions were constructed using a Likert-scale CCC. The study site MPA (Napantao) is shown within the black box answering system (ranging from ‘Strongly Disagree’ to (map modified from CCC). ‘Strongly Agree’). Other questions had categorical answers, such as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The questionnaires were designed to between the two countries. The wording of certain questions allow for a comparison of a range of opinions (from Section differed between Cambodia and the Philippines, as B) to the types of fishers (from Section A) to see whether the Cambodia has very few MPAs or methods of management in responses were caused by fishers’ characteristics ( explanatory place, whereas the Philippines have had several MPAs imple- variables). Such connections could then be compared mented in the study area over the last decade. The question- naires differed slightly, so they were relevant for each area. Appendix 1 shows the questionnaires used in the present Table 1. Description of MPAs at each study site study. MPAs Cambodia Philippines Survey technique Name – Napantao Surveys were carried out by one interviewer (the author) and Year established Proposed 1996 a translator. The questionnaire used in Cambodia was trans- Area (km ) ~3.83 >0.1 lated into Khmer (the most widely spoken language in Cambodia) and the questionnaire used in the Philippines was Number of ~4 (tourist resorts expected in 1 villages present the future) carried out in English (with the aid of a translator speaking Visayan, the regional language). Translators asked the ques- Prohibition Multiple-use area No-take tions to each fisher and translated the responses so that the Gear used most Seine nets Hook and line interviewer could mark the answers on each questionnaire. frequently Fishers were found randomly in Cambodia along the beach Number of fishers >100 ~50 and on piers where their boats were; questionnaires had to be operating around carried out opportunistically as fishers only came ashore for the MPA area one or two nights at a time, which was largely dependent on General Around entire coastline of Koh One of several the weather and sea conditions. In the Philippines, the surveys description Rong; restriction ranging from small MPAs in were mostly conducted in fishers’ houses (known by the trans- no-take to minimal the area (see limitations. Fig. 2). lator) and also with fishers who were approached opportunis- tically around Napantao. Most surveys took 15–20 min, Cambodia is still in the early planning stages of MPAs, with limited informa- tion available. One new, no-take MPA exists around the tourist resort islands depending on how much information the fishers gave and of Song Saa, northeast Koh Rong (currently under construction [2011]). whether there were any issues caused by the language barrier. 4 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Sometimes fishers were approached as a group, where each tabulated to show the percentage of responses to each question question was asked to the fishers one by one and the responses from each study area. Categorical responses were presented as were marked on each questionnaire corresponding to the cor- ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Maybe/DK’, where ‘Maybe’ and ‘Don’t know’ rect fisher. Fishers were all artisanal and often fished in crews, responses were combined. Ordinal responses were measured on for example, in the Philippines, one fisher owned several boats a five-point Likert-scale (ranging from ‘Strongly agree’ to used by other fishers in the crew. A total of 29 fishers were ‘Strongly disagree’) and then reduced to a three-point Likert surveyed in Cambodia and 20 in the Philippines. Interviews scale (due to the small sample sizes), containing only the were also carried out with key stakeholders in Cambodia responses ‘Agree’, ‘Neutral’ (neither agree nor disagree) and only: with the village chief (with a translator) and the CCC ‘Disagree’. The Likert-scale responses were also presented as expedition leader and project scientist. Responses were percentages of each response from fishers at each study site. recorded in a log book during each interview. Statistical tests Data analysis H : There will be no difference between fishers’ acceptance Data organization and perceptions towards MPAs from responses received at Prior to analysis, all questionnaire data were entered into a each study site. database using Microsoft Excel. Data were copied into a First, the question ‘Are protected areas a good thing?’ statistical software package (IBM SPSS, version 19), where it (Q7, Appendix 1), measured categorically (‘Yes’, ‘No’ and was analysed against selected variables (Table 2). ‘Maybe/DK’), was used as a proxy for fishers’ acceptance of MPAs. Results were displayed as descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics Secondly, fishers’ opinions relating to MPAs (such as their Responses from Section A of the questionnaires were tabulated impact on fishing activity and the local community) were to show the mean and standard deviation of continuous data investigated. Fishers’ views towards MPAs were investigated and the frequencies of occurrence of categorical data. Categorical at each study site (the Cambodia site where MPAs are a novel and ordinal data from Section B of the questionnaires were also concept and the Philippines site where MPAs have been Table 2. Factors used to test fishers’ opinions and acceptance of MPAs Impact on fishers’ acceptance/ Variables Literature reference Tested in this study perceptions of MPAs Fishers’ age Alter tactics or behaviour; may affect Tzanatos et al. (2006) Age data were tested using two independent- MPA acceptance sample t-tests (parametric tests as the age data were continuous and normally distributed using Shapiro–Wilks test for normality) Younger/more experienced fishers Leleu et al. (2012) are more positive towards MPAs Type of fishing gear Static gear users feel more involved Pita, Pierce and A categorical variable (mobile gear = 1, static operated (mobile/ in management; also more Theodossiou (2010) gear = 0) was used to test data using non-para- static) accepting of restrictions metric χ tests (or Fisher’s exact test when the data did not meet assumptions) Different gear operators have Blythe et al. (2002) different opinions of MPAs Species in catch Squid fishers are not severely Lunn and Dearden (2006) A categorical variable (fishers who catch affected by fishery development and squid = 1, fishers who do not catch squid = 0) was do not notice declines in catches used to test data using non-parametric Fisher’s over time exact tests (as data did not meet χ assumptions). Fishers’ management More likely to obey rules and feel Alcala and Russ (2006) A categorical variable (co-management = 0, preference involved in the process when given community-based management = 1) was used to a choice; more accepting test data using Fishers exact test (as data did not meet χ assumptions) Fishers’ experience of Fishers who have experience of Leleu et al. (2012) Cambodia fishers had no experience of MPAs so MPAs MPAs perceive them as beneficial no tests were done to test fishers’ acceptance Fishers who have seen benefits of Gelcich, Godoy and Castilla MPAs are more likely to support and (2009), Russ, Alcala and manage MPAs Maypa (2003) This was the only variable that was not tested against responses to the question, ‘Are MPAs a good thing?’, and was tested using only data from the Philippines study site. 5 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 present for over a decade) using a five-point Likert-scale (Q8, tested against whether they caught squid or not for fishers at Appendix 1). The responses gathered were collapsed to a both sites, as squid was commonly caught at both sites (Lunn three-point Likert-scale (‘Agree’, ‘Neutral’ and ‘Disagree’) and Dearden, 2006, state that squid fishers do not feel their and statistical tests were used to determine whether fishers’ target species decrease over time compared with finfish fishers); responses between study areas differed significantly. The data categorical variables were used (increase in the number of were ordinal, so non-parametric Kruskal–Wallis tests were most-caught species = 1, other = 0; squid present in catch = 1, used. Results were displayed with descriptive statistics. squid not present in catch = 0). Whether fishers caught squid (=1) or not (=0) was also tested against fishers’ acceptance of Fishers’ management preferences were also investigated MPAs for Cambodian fishers only. and compared between study sites. Fishers were asked which of the four management options they would prefer for MPAs As Filipino fishers were the only ones to have previous expe- in the future (Q11d, Appendix 1): (1) ‘Management by the rience of MPAs, only data gathered in the Philippines were government’, (2) ‘Management by both fishers and govern- used to test whether previous MPA experience affected fishers’ ment’, (3) ‘Local community-based management excluding perceptions of the effects of MPAs. Fishers’ perceptions of how women’ and (4) ‘Local community-based management marine resources have changed over time (Q9, Appendix 1) including women’. A categorical variable was created by were compared with underwater visual census survey data grouping responses 1 and 2 together and responses 3 and 4 (from within Napantao MPA, provided by CCC) to investigate together: co-management (joint management by the local whether fishers’ perceptions of resources matched evidence community and the local government; =0) and community- directly from the reef. Once survey data were collated, a line based management (=1), respectively. Fishers who opted for graph was created showing the change in the mean number of the ‘Management by the government’ option were included different size classes of fusilier fish (the only species that in the co-management category, as few fishers responded appeared frequently enough to provide sufficient data for a with that answer (3 in Cambodia; 2 in the Philippines). A χ comparison between information in reef surveys and question- test was used to determine if management preference differed naires) over time. Data were from the years 2008, 2010 and between countries, as both management and country data 2011, so fish numbers for 2009 were estimated for each size (Cambodia = 1, Philippines = 2) were categorical. class by taking the means of fish numbers from 2008 and 2010. A categorical variable (a positive change in resources H : There will be no effect of fishers’ characteristics on over time = 1, other = 0) was tested against responses relating their perceptions or acceptance of MPAs. to fishers’ involvement in MPA planning using Fisher’s exact test (as data did not meet χ test assumptions) to investigate Statistical tests were used to test differences in fishers’ per - whether fishers’ willingness to be involved in management was ceptions about MPAs. Responses to the question ‘Are protected influenced by their perception of the state of resources. areas a good thing?’ were collapsed to a categorical variable of ‘Yes’ (=1) and ‘Other’ (=0, including the responses ‘No’, Limitations/sources of error ‘Maybe’ and ‘Don’t know’). All but three fishers from the Small sample sizes from both study sites (Cambodia: n = 29, Philippines site fell into the ‘Yes’ category, so statistics were only Philippines: n = 20) affected the statistical tests by increasing carried out with data from Cambodian fishers for this particu- effects from any atypical data and making results less reliable. lar question. Several characteristics of Cambodian fishers (age, Fishers were occasionally questioned in a group, who may gear operated, species in catch and management preference) have caused their responses to be more similar than if they were tested against these responses to investigate their accep- had been questioned alone, due to peer pressure. Using differ- tance of MPAs, as shown in Table 2. Fishers were asked whether ent translators at both locations could have had an effect on they operated a range of fishing gear (Q3, Appendix 1) and the data collected; each translator could have worded certain responses were reduced to two categories: mobile gear (gear questions in their own way, affecting the responses given by that is pulled over a distance by a vessel, for example trawl nets; each fisher. The translation of the questionnaire from English =1) and static gear (gear that is set or used within a small area, to Khmer could also have changed the meaning of some ques- for example, seine nets or spearguns; =0). Management prefer- tions. Fish data from underwater visual census surveys were ence (Q11d, Appendix 1) was also reduced to two categories: gathered by various CCC SCUBA divers, with estimations of community-based management (=1) and co-management fish numbers possibly differing between divers. between fishers and their local government (= 0). A range of other variables regarding fishers’ opinions of MPAs were tested to investigate their acceptance of MPAs; these responses were Results measured on a five-point Likert-scale (Q8, Appendix 1) ranging from ‘Strongly agree’ to ‘Strongly disagree’ and reduced to a Respondent characteristics categorical variable of ‘Agree’ (=1, including the responses ‘Strongly agree’ and ‘Agree’) and ‘Other’ (=0, including Table 3 shows a summary of responses to the questions used ‘Strongly disagree’, ‘Disagree’ and ‘Neither agree nor disagree’) to gather fishers’ background information. The mean age of to test fisher’s acceptance of MPAs. Fishers’ perceptions of a fishers was greater at the Philippines site (39.1 years) com- change in the number of individuals present in their catch were pared with Cambodia (31.5 years), as was the mean years of 6 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Table 3. Descriptive statistics for fishers in the survey Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Mean (Std. Dev.) Frequencies of occurrence (%) Mean (Std. Dev.) Frequencies of occurrence (%) Socio-economic characteristics Age (year) 31.45 (8.99) – 39.05 (11.72) – Experience fishing (year) 12.70 (7.79) – 17.40 (10.74) – Has another job not – 10.3 – 90.0 connected to fisheries Religious beliefs – 96.6 – 100.0 Main religions Buddhism – 100.0 – 0.0 Roman Catholic – 0.0 – 90.0 Fishing characteristics Boat length (m) 11.88 (1.60) – 3.71 (0.77) – Boat power (HP) 23.23 (2.87) – 0.74 (2.09) – Fishing methods Crab nets – 20.7 – 0.0 Seine nets – 44.8 – 25.0 Spearfishing – 0.0 – 30.0 Trawl (drag nets) – 24.1 – 0.0 Long lines – 0.0 – 5.0 Hook and line – 0.0 – 85.0 Other – 34.5 – 25.0 Species present in catch Squid – 27.6 – 70.0 Jack/Trevally – 51.7 – 15.0 Crab – 24.1 – 0.0 Red Snapper – 44.8 – 0.0 Shrimp – 20.7 – 0.0 Fusilier – 48.3 – 45.0 Mackerel – 0.0 – 35.0 Fishing operation Distance from coast 90.85 (122.19) – 0.88 (1.78) – (km) Times per week 6.24 (0.99) – 4.23 (2.37) – Totals sum to more than 100% due to some fishers using more than one fishing method or catching more than one species. experience (Philippines = 17.4, Cambodia = 12.7). Figure 3 nets were operated by fishers in both sites (Cambodia = 44.8% shows the age distribution of respondents in both countries; fishers, Philippines = 25.0% of fishers). There was more over - the modal age for fishers in Cambodia was 31 years, and in lap between the species caught by fishers, as squid, jacks and the Philippines the modal ages were 27, 34 and 45 (the mean fusiliers were caught at both study sites. of which equalled 35.3 years for the three values), although the ages of Filipino respondents extended to higher values The majority of fishers (~90%) questioned in Cambodia did than in Cambodia (as can be seen from Fig. 3). The fishing not have another source of income, whereas the opposite was gear operated by fishers at both sites varied, although seine true in the Philippines where only 10% of fishers’ only source 7 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 of income was from fishing. Almost all fishers in Cambodia Cambodia than the Philippines (11.9 and 3.7 m, respectively). (~97%) and all fishers in the Philippines had religious beliefs. Mean boat power was also much higher in Cambodia Buddhism was the dominating religion for Cambodian fishers (23.2 HP, Philippines = 0.7 HP) as well as the mean distance (100% of those who had religious beliefs) and most Filipino travelled to reach fishing grounds (Cambodia = 90.9 km, fishers were Roman Catholic (90%; the remaining fishers Philippines = 0.9 km). The mean distance data from Cambodian were part of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries fishers had a very large standard deviation value (SD = 122.2) Association). Mean boat length was over three times greater in due to fishers varying widely in the distance they travelled. With such large differences between study sites, the variable ‘country’ can account for ‘another job’, ‘religious beliefs’, ‘boat length/ power’ and ‘distance from coast’ data. Opinions about MPAs Table 4 shows a greater percentage of Filipino fishers (85.0%) answered positively to the question ‘Are protected areas a good thing?’ compared with fishers in Cambodia (62.1%), with no Filipino fishers giving the answer of a definite ‘No’, illustrating the greater support for MPAs in the Philippines. Table 5 shows that there were no significant differences between fishers’ responses from each study site concerning increased fish numbers (H = 4.69, df = 2, P > 0.05) or increased number of species (H = 5.56, df = 2, P > 0.05) around MPAs; age, gear operated and management prefer- ence did not significantly affect responses either (Table A1, Figure 3. Frequency distribution graph showing the ages of all fishers questioned in Cambodia (grey) and the Philippines (black). Appendix 2). There were significant differences between sites Table 4. Fishers’ opinions about marine protected areas % Responses Question Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Yes No Maybe/DK Yes No Maybe/DK MPAs Are protected areas a good thing? 62.1 31.0 6.9 85.0 0 15.0 Table 5. Descriptive statistics on survey statements designed to quantify fishers’ opinions about MPAs, showing Kruskal–Wallis test results % Responses Kruskal–Wallis Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) statistic, P-value D N A D N A Fish sanctuaries increase the number of fish caught outside/around them 0 27.6 72.4 10.0 10.0 80.0 4.69, P = 0.096 Fish sanctuaries increase the different types of fish in the area 0 24.1 75.9 10.0 5.0 85.0 5.56, P = 0.062 Reefs and seagrass are important for fishing to be successful 58.6 6.9 34.5 0 5.0 95.0 18.73, P < 0.001 Coral reefs/seagrass beds are only important for fish to shelter 65.5 3.5 31.0 0 0 100.0 22.83, P < 0.001 Fish sanctuaries strongly impact fishing 34.4 38.0 27.6 10.0 0 90.0 18.78, P < 0.001 Fish sanctuaries increase conflicts between fishers 75.9 24.1 0 65.0 5.0 30.0 11.32, P = 0.003 Fish sanctuaries only benefit neighbouring coastal waters/villages 3.4 20.8 75.8 10.0 10.0 80.0 1.65, P = 0.438 Any new fish sanctuaries will result in conflicts in the community 65.5 3.5 31.0 35.0 10.0 55.0 4.48, P = 0.106 Statements were measured in a five-point Likert-scale and subsequently dropped to a three-point Likert-scale: Disagree (D), Neutral/Neither agree nor disagree (N) and Agree (A). Significant P-values are shown in bold. 8 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Table 6. Fishers’ opinions about the state of resources % Responses Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Yes No Maybe/DK Yes No Maybe/DK Perception state of resources I n the last 3 years, compared to 10 years ago, I’ve noticed a difference in the . . . . . . number of [most fished species] in the catch 69.0 24.1 6.9 50.0 20.0 30.0 . . . size of [most fished species] in the catch 55.2 27.6 17.2 75.0 15.0 10.0 . . . number of different species present in the catch 58.7 31.0 10.3 70.0 25.0 5.0 in perceptions towards reefs and seagrass, in terms of whether they were important for fishing (H = 18.73, df = 2, P < 0.001) and whether their only importance was to provide shelter for fish (H = 22.83, df = 2, P < 0.001). Most Filipino fishers felt reefs and seagrass were important for fishing (95%) and pro- vided shelter for fished species (100%), illustrating how important they considered them to be compared with the Cambodian fishers. There was a significant difference in responses to MPAs impacting fishing activity between sites (H = 18.78, df = 2, P < 0.001); a larger proportion of Filipino fishers stated MPAs did affect fishing activity than Cambodian fishers (90% and 28%, respectively), showing that fishers with experience of operating around MPAs feel MPAs do make a difference to their fishing activities. The type of gear operated influenced Cambodian fishers’ responses (Fisher’s exact: P < 0.05; Table A1, Appendix 2), with static gear users thinking MPAs would impact fishing more than mobile gear Figure 4. Graph showing the change in the mean number of fusilier users. There was a significant difference between sites as to fish individuals of different size classes observed during underwater whether MPAs cause conflicts between fishers (H = 11.32, surveys with time, over 4 years. Data were collected by underwater df = 2, P < 0.05) with only some Filipino fishers (30%) per - visual surveys within Napantao MPA (data provided by CCC). ceiving MPAs to cause conflicts, from personal experience; however, fishers between sites did not significantly differ in Philippines). All Cambodian fishers who noticed a difference their opinions that a new MPA would cause conflict within in the state of resources felt that resources were better 10 communities (H = 4.48, df = 2, P > 0.05). Fishers from years ago and had only noticed negative changes, compared Cambodia, an area where MPAs were in the pre-implementa- with Filipino fishers who had noticed positive changes when tion stage, did not anticipate any conflict from MPAs whereas fishing around their MPA. Cambodian fishers’ perception of fishers with experience of MPAs in the Philippines had a change in the number of their most-caught species was not noticed conflict, but only between the fishers themselves significantly affected by whether they caught squid or not showing how the presence or absence of MPAs can alter fish- (P = 0.209), with fishers who caught squid being evenly split ers’ opinions. between perceiving an increase in the number of individuals Opinions about state of resources in their catch (n = 4) and thinking otherwise (n = 4). The same was true of Filipino fishers (P = 1.000), with an equal Most fishers from both study sites had noticed a difference in number of squid fishers perceiving an increase in individuals the state of marine resources in the past decade. Table 6 in their catch (n = 7) and thinking otherwise (n = 7). shows that the most common response was ‘Yes’ to a per- ceived change in the number of fishers’ most-targeted species Figure 4 shows the change in the mean number of fusilier present in their catch (69.0% in Cambodia, 50.0% in the fish (Caesionidae) of three different size classes over time Philippines), the sizes of the most-targeted species (55.2% in within Napantao MPA (survey site in the Philippines). Sixty- Cambodia, 75.0% in the Philippines) and the number of dif- five per cent of Filipino fishers who noticed a difference in the ferent species caught (58.7% in Cambodia, 70.0% in the number of their most-caught species felt that there had been 9 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Table 7. Fishers’ opinions about MPA management % Responses Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Yes No Yes No Management Have you ever been asked to start/stop using any kind of fishing gear? 10.3 89.7 40.0 60.0 Involvement in planning of MPAs a b Do you know of /Have you ever been involved in the development of any sanctuary 41.4 58.6 65.0 35.0 development plans Would you like to be/Did you like being involved in the planning of sanctuaries 48.3 51.7 90.0 10.0 Cambodia. Philippines. an increase in the last decade. Figure 4 shows that the two Table 8. Fishers’ involvement in MPA management in the Philippines, smaller size classes of fusiliers decreased in recent years tested against perceived benefits of Napantao MPA using Fisher’s exact (1–10 cm: slope = −1.33, 11–20 cm: slope = −7.49), contra- test (data did not meet χ assumptions) dicting the fishers’ views of numbers increasing (although fusiliers were one of the most-caught species for only 30% of Statistical test results Fishers’ opinions Filipino fishers). Of the fishers who noticed a difference in the Philippines (n = 20) size of their most fished species, 70% felt that the size had increased over the last decade. Figure 4 shows the largest size Previously involved in MPA development class of fusiliers (21–30 cm) was the only size class to increase in number (slope = 1.66), which reflects fishers’ perceptions Increase in number of most fished P = 0.587 of the increasing presence of larger fish in more recent years. species 85.7% of fishers who perceived a change in the number of Increase in size of most fished species P = 0.270 different species present in their catch felt that there had been an increase. Increase in number of species present P = 0.613 Opinions about management of MPAs Like to be involved in MPA planning Most fishers in Cambodia (89.7%) stated that they had never Increase in number of most fished P = 0.368 been asked to change their fishing methods, which is also true species for the Philippines although there was a more even split with Increase in size of most fished species P = 0.284 60.0% of fishers never being asked, as shown in Table 7. Most Cambodian fishers did not know of any MPA plans Increase in number of species present P = 0.447 (41.4% claimed they did know), however, approximately half (48.3%) said they would like to be involved in MPA planning procedures. Most fishers in the Philippines (65.0%) said they had been involved in MPA planning at some stage Table 8 shows that Filipino fishers’ previous involvement (even if it was only attending informative meetings in the in any MPA plans or any desire to be involved were not sig- barangay) and 90.0% said they liked being (or would like to nificantly affected by their perceptions of whether MPAs be) involved. Clearly, Filipino fishers show more of an inter - increase the number of fish, size of fish or number of species est and are keener to be involved in the management of the present in their catch. The benefits observed from Napantao MPA in their area; in Cambodia, where the MPA did not yet MPA therefore did not influence fishers’ decisions to get exist and plans to implement one were largely unknown, involved in MPA management. there was a much lower level of support. There was no sig- nificant difference in management preference between the Cambodian fishers who stated that they would like to be two study sites (χ = 3.0, df = 1, P = 0.084); 83.3% of fishers involved in MPA planning had a significantly greater mean who responded in Cambodia preferred community-based age (35.9 years; t = 2.9, df = 27, P < 0.05) than those who management compared with 60.0% of fishers in the stated that they would not like to be involved (mean Philippines. age = 27.3 years; Table A2, Appendix 2); the type of gear 10 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article operated by Cambodian fishers also affected whether they Management preference, species targeted and all of the state- would like to be involved in MPA planning or not (χ = 10.2, ments regarding fishers’ perceptions of MPAs shown in df = 1, P < 0.05), with mobile gear operators being more will- Table 9 had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on Cambodian ing to participate (11 out of 13 static gear users did not want fishers’ responses regarding their acceptance of MPAs. to be involved and 12 out of 16 mobile gear users said they would like to be involved). All Filipino fishers surveyed used Discussion static gear, so although Cambodian static gear users were less keen to be involved in the implementation of a new MPA, the Participation from fishers is crucial for implementing manage- majority of static gear users in the Philippines had been ment tools, such as MPAs, which is often difficult to gain due involved in the management of their MPA once it was created to fishers having different opinions towards management and enjoyed the experience; this shows a clear difference in (Dimech et al., 2009). The planning, implementation and man- the attitudes of static gear users between countries with vary- agement of MPAs are all dependent on human aspects, as well ing degrees of marine resource protection. as conservation considerations (Charles and Wilson, 2009). If social challenges of MPAs are not given adequate attention Acceptance of MPAs (such as gaining acceptance of those dependent on resources in Table 9 shows that fishers accepting MPAs were significantly that area), then MPAs that succeed in their biological aims older (mean age = 34.8 years) than those who answered oth- may become ineffective if locals have low levels of support erwise (mean age = 25.9 years) in Cambodia (t = 2.9, df = 27, (Christie, 2004). Understanding the variability of fishers’ per - P < 0.05). Age also influenced Cambodian fishers’ responses ceptions is therefore of high priority for MPAs to have optimal regarding knowledge of any MPA development plans with results as management tools. There is a large degree of vari- fishers who did know of plans having a greater mean age ance in the context of individual MPAs (biological, social and (37.2 years) than those who did not (mean age = 27.4; t = 3.4, management implications) at different sites, making it difficult df = 27, P < 0.05) (Table A2, Appendix 2). The type of gear to generalize what is required for the success of MPAs (Villa, operated did not affect Cambodian fishers’ acceptance of Tunesi and Agardy, 2002). The aim of this study was to show MPAs, however, it did affect whether they felt MPAs would the factors affecting fishers’ perceptions and acceptance of impact their fishing (static gear users’ opinions were evenly MPAs from two separate locations: Cambodia, where MPAs split, however, 15 out of 16 mobile gear users felt their fishing were a novel idea at the study site, and the Philippines, where would not be affected, P < 0.05) (Table A1, Appendix 2). MPAs were well known in the study area and had been present Table 9. Fishers’ MPA acceptance Statistical test results Variables Cambodia (n = 29) MPAs are a good thing Age (year) t = 2.9, P = 0.007 Mobile/static gear operated P = 0.702 Species targeted P = 0.671 Management preference P = 1.000 Fish sanctuaries increase the number of fish caught outside/around them P = 0.671 Fish sanctuaries increase the different types of fish in the area P = 0.677 Reefs and seagrass are important for fishing to be successful P = 0.432 Coral reefs/seagrass beds are only important for fish to shelter P = 0.412 Fish sanctuaries strongly impact fishing P = 0.197 Fish sanctuaries only benefit neighbouring coastal waters/barangays P = 0.375 Any new fish sanctuaries will result in conflicts in the community P = 0.096 Selected variables were tested against data from Cambodia using independent sample t-tests for interval normal data and Fisher’s exact test (as data did not meet χ assumptions) for categorical data. The appropriate statistical values were presented with P-values. Significant P-values are shown in bold. Data were tested based on whether fishers caught squid (=1) or not (=0). 11 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 for over a decade. Results show differences in fishers’ attitudes around it for them to catch; Tetreault and Ambrose (2007) towards MPAs and factors that did or did not influence their report that target species of fish were more abundant and opinions. The small sample sizes of fishers at each study site larger inside MPAs off the coast of California which may also (Cambodia: n = 29, Philippines: n = 20) are limitations to the be true for the MPA at the Philippines site in this study, which findings of this study, possibly causing false-positive associa- some fishers may have noticed. Few Cambodian fishers felt tions between variables or a lack of significance (Hackshaw, that reefs or seagrass were important to their fishing activity, 2008), therefore results cannot be treated with a great deal of possibly as their fishing grounds were so far from the inshore confidence; this study does, however, provide a useful insight waters where these habitats occur, as many fishers stated that into the trends of fishers’ perceptions and acceptance towards they only fished over areas of sandy substrate (although coral MPAs at both sites and may act as a pilot study that could aid fragments could be seen entangled in fishing nets, from per - in the design of a more comprehensive study in the future. Any sonal observations). Filipino fishers’ opinions about reefs and future studies should aim to collect data from a larger sample seagrass contradicted that of Cambodian fishers, as all but one size of fishers in order to have confidence in any statistical out- Filipino fisher felt that reefs were important for fishing to be puts during data analysis. successful. Gelcich, Edwards-Jones and Kaiser (2005) found that fishers in Chile had positive views towards conservation Comparison of findings at each study site of the natural environment and acknowledged how important it was to their fishing; views that are similar to those expressed Differing socio-economic and fishing characteristics (includ- by Filipino fishers in this study. ing experience of MPAs) may be responsible for the differ- ences observed in responses between Filipino and Cambodian MPAs are a novel concept in Cambodia, although the fishers. A higher proportion of Filipino fishers felt MPAs majority of Cambodian fishers accepted the idea of MPAs. were ‘a good thing’, which is likely due to the fishers having Management of marine resources did exist in the surround- already seen benefits of the MPA reflected in their catches ing areas of the Cambodia study site; ‘Steung Haav’ was since the MPA was implemented in Napantao; Russ, Alcala mentioned by seven fishers when they were asked if they and Maypa (2003) show that another MPA in the Philippines knew of any development plans: this was an area on the coast has caused fishers to notice an increase in catch rates and of mainland Cambodia ~25 km from the study site where predict that support of MPAs rises among locals because of larger boats were not allowed to operate. No Cambodian this. None of the Filipino fishers answered ‘No’ to the ques- fishers knew about the newly implemented MPA at Song Saa tion ‘Are MPAs a good thing?’ and three gave neutral answers (northeast of the island) which suggests that they are ill- to the question, which suggests that they did not associate the informed about MPA plans in their area (less than half of MPA with having negative impacts on their fishing activity fishers knew of any MPA development plans). Marshall et al. (Leleu et al., 2012). McClanahan, Maina and Davies (2005) (2010) found that over three-fourths of fishers in Egypt did state that acceptance of a management strategy increases the not know that the waters of their coastal village were part of longer management has been in place. MPAs have been pres- an MPA; this, as well as Cambodian fishers’ lack of knowl- ent for longer (over a decade) at the Philippines site com- edge, suggests that information regarding development plans pared with Cambodia (where only one MPA existed on the in an area must be relayed to the fishers it may concern to other side of the island, which few fishers knew about), which avoid the ignorance of social aspects of MPAs and low com- could explain why fishers in the Philippines were more pliance levels (Claudet and Guidetti, 2010). A lack of com- accepting of MPAs than Cambodian fishers. munication, as well as ineffective management enforcement by the government, seems to be a problem for many artisanal Fishing vessels in the Philippines travelled a much shorter fisheries (Himes, 2003; Hauck et al., 2002). Perhaps distance from the coast during fishing trips (meaning their fish- Cambodian fishers were accepting of MPAs as they felt the ing grounds were adjacent to the MPA) than observed in need for a better management strategy. Community-based Cambodia, which is probably linked to the fact that the boats management was the option chosen by most fishers at each were much smaller and less powerful (most were paddle study site (over co-management with the government); how- boats). Cambodian vessels were larger and more powerful so ever, few Cambodian fishers were willing to be involved in fishing grounds further from the coast could be exploited, also MPA planning, suggesting that a community-based manage- because the fishers often had fishing trips lasting several days ment plan in that area may require greater levels of support and had to live aboard their boats. Fishing close to an MPA from the locals than observed in this study. may cause Filipino fishers to notice the spillover effects better, such as increases in the number and size of individuals in their Few Cambodian fishers felt that MPAs would impact their yield (Stelzenmüller et al., 2008) as was noticed by fishers in fishing, compared with Filipino fishers who mostly felt that this study. Several Filipino fishers said the MPA acted as a the MPA had already impacted their fishing by increasing the spawning and nursery ground for fish (also noticed by fishers number and size of fish in their catch, showing they are aware in the study by Leleu et al., 2012) and allowed more fish to be of the benefits of their MPA (also found by Leleu et al., 2012). caught by fishers in the village, indicating that they anticipated None of the Cambodian fishers felt an MPA would increase improved catches around the MPA. Other Filipino fishers felt conflicts between fishers; however, 30% of Filipino fishers that there were more fish within the MPA but not outside or felt that conflicts had increased as a result of their MPA. The 12 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article perceptions of increased conflict could be due to Filipino fish- ple sizes). As found by Leleu et al. (2012), Filipino fishers did ers already having experienced conflict concerning their not feel that the MPA was a negative addition to the waters MPA; McClanahan and Mangi (2000) report that conflicts around Napantao, although the underwater visual surveys increased between different MPA users and different gear suggested that individual numbers of smaller fusilier fish had users once an MPA was implemented in Kenya, until man- declined in the last 4 years (Fig. 4). The slight increase in agement steps were taken to reduce conflict. MPAs that suc- large fusilier individuals matched Filipino fisher’s perceptions ceed in biological terms may not be effective in social terms if of catching larger fish, although greater sample sizes of fish- they cause conflicts, which may eventually cause them to be ers (and underwater survey replicates) would give a clearer unsuccessful as a form of management (Christie, 2004); idea of how accurately fishers view the change in their therefore, it is important that efforts to resolve conflicts are resources (Neis et al., 1999 suggest that fishers’ perceptions made (as described by McClanahan and Mangi, 2000). of resources often reflect reality). At both study sites, fishers’ perceptions of the state of resources were not influenced by Eec ff t of fisher characteristics on perception whether they caught squid or not. Lunn and Dearden (2006) of MPAs found that fishers who targeted invertebrates, such as squid, were not affected as much by declining stocks due to the life Older Cambodian fishers were more accepting of MPAs and histories of many invertebrates allowing stocks to recover also more willing to be involved in MPA management plans. quicker than finfish; few fishers in this study only targeted Leleu et al. (2012) found that older, more experienced arti- squid so it is likely that their perceptions of resources were sanal fishers in the Mediterranean were less positive in their influenced by other species in their catch. perceptions towards MPAs. Although older Cambodian fish- ers showed support towards the idea of MPAs, their percep- Most fishers at both study sites opted for a community- tions (and possibly younger fishers’ also) may become more based management approach of MPAs. The village chief at the negative once implementation of an MPA occurs. Age did not Cambodia site mentioned that villagers would like to be influence Filipino fishers’ perceptions of MPAs, although the involved in MPA planning and maintenance, and that the local small sample size means that it cannot be said with confi- police would be willing to monitor an MPA using their boat dence that age did not affect fishers’ views towards MPAs. and fuel. The CCC expedition leader and project scientist in Cambodia thought it might be effective to assign roles to locals Lowe (2010) suggests that static gear fishers are less likely within the village, for example, the village chief being employed to feel the need to be involved in planning procedures of an as a fisheries officer. As described by Alcala and Russ (2006), MPA designed for conservation purposes if they do not feel time and effort must be spent to educate locals in conservation their gear has detrimental effects on the environment. Static and management if an effective community-based manage- gear users in Cambodia may have been less eager to be ment plan is to be achieved, and locals must feel a sense of involved in MPA planning if they felt their gear did little or no responsibility by being given the opportunity to be involved in damage to the marine environment. Blythe et al. (2002) found MPA management (Gelcich, Godoy and Castilla, 2009). In the that fishers (from both mobile and static gear sectors) viewed Philippines, some CCC staff members were locals from the vil- protected areas where only static gear users were allowed to lage who allowed them to have an active part in the manage- operate as a way of reducing conflict between fishers. Areas ment and conservation of marine resources in the area. In like this may exist in the MPA proposed around Koh Rong, as Cambodia, the village chief stated that if a non-governmental it is likely to have different zones with varying levels of protec- organization (NGO) implemented an MPA, the locals would tion. It was mentioned by some Cambodian fishers that larger happily be involved in its management; this meets the criteria boats, often foreign, operated in shallow waters and caused for successful community-based management suggested by conflict with those with smaller boats; perhaps this was the Pollnac, Crawford and Gorospe (2001), who recommend reason why so many mobile gear users were willing to be involvement of the local community and long-term communi- involved in the planning and management of MPAs, as they cation with an organization that implemented the MPA (CCC were keen for measures that restricted the entry of larger fish- in this case). Regarding management, fishers’ main concerns ing vessels from elsewhere. are often sustainable fisheries, whereas other stakeholders may be more concerned about conservation of ecosystems (Mangi Russ, Alcala and Maypa (2003) state that local fishers and Austen, 2008), so it is important that each view is care- around an MPA in the Philippines associate it with improve- fully considered to minimize conflicts between stakeholders. ments in their catch sizes, and Alcala and Russ (2006) show that the same MPA has been successful due to management input by the locals. Alcala and Russ (2006) argue that local Conclusion fishing communities must participate in management for an MPA to be successful, maximizing fishers’ positive percep- Similarities and differences were found between fishers’ tions of the returns they gain from the MPA; however, this responses from each study site. The high levels of acceptance study showed no correlation between fishers’ involvement in towards MPAs found in this study were encouraging at both management and their perceptions of changes in the state of study sites. In Cambodia, there was evidence of support for resources (results may have been more clear with larger sam- MPAs from fishers, even though the MPA around Koh Rong 13 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 was still at an early planning stage which shows that fishers been unsuccessful could also be investigated to shed light on with little or no knowledge of MPAs can still support them as aspects that can make the management strategy less effective a conservation management strategy (even if they feel their and any reasons for this. fishing activity will not be affected). The positive opinions Filipino fishers had towards their village MPA continued to Acknowledgements remain high when compared with findings by Chaigneau (2008) who conducted similar surveys with fishers in the same First, I would like to thank Beth Scott and Cristina Pita for village. Although Filipino fishers had mixed views towards their continuous support throughout the entire project. I some aspects of their village MPA (such as causing conflict), would also like to thank all the Coral Cay Conservation the general impression was that fishers had accepted it and (CCC) staff for their help: Jan-Willem Van Bochove and the perceived the benefits they had received from it in the past, rest of the head office team in London, and also the staff on- however any issues that fishers felt had arisen due to the MPA site in Cambodia and the Philippines. A large amount of help should not be ignored. Community-based management of was received from CCC, whether it was providing data, MPAs was favoured at both study sites; effective management advice and papers, or support in the field and making the with local involvement is important in both countries for opti- whole expedition an enjoyable experience. Planning my mal success and acceptance of MPAs, and community-based project was also helped by Toby Eastoe, of Fauna & Flora management may be the method favoured by small, artisanal International. Thanks to those who took time to give fishing communities in other areas. Agardy (2000) states that interviews, and of course to all the fishers for completing the the implementation of an MPA is when data collection and questionnaires in a patient and friendly manner. Enormous management begin, therefore it is crucial that MPAs are thanks go to all the locals who acted as translators – the appropriately monitored and management is adapted accord- project would not have been possible without them. In ingly. As seen in this study, fishers’ perceptions of MPAs are Cambodia, these were staff at Monkey Island Beach Resort: subject to change depending on their previous experiences; Bun Te, Song Chin, Chhin Chan Lee, Man Pheak Ney and therefore, work of this sort is an ongoing process that should Bun Youthy.Also, Kanha from the Dive Shop Cambodia be carried out before MPAs are implemented and throughout translated the questionnaire. Jesselou Tinapay, Dag their existence to gauge the support they receive from local Navarrete, Jasper Aguilo and Lovely Aguilo translated in the communities. Future work could include studies with larger Philippines. sample sizes, to investigate Cambodian fishers’ opinions fur - ther, for example, why some fishers feel MPAs will not affect them. Once an MPA is implemented around Koh Rong, an Author Biography investigation into Cambodian fishers’ opinions and accep- tance of MPAs could be conducted to see whether they change The author studied BSc marine biology at the University of significantly compared to the findings in this study. Further Aberdeen and has a particular interest in tropical coral reef work in the Philippines should be carried out to investigate ecosystems. This manuscript is in regard to the human side possible reasons for the conflicts perceived in this study, and of tropical fisheries and conservation around coral reef to generally monitor fishers’ perceptions. This study concerns areas, however, interests for the future include hopes to two areas where support for MPAs is relatively high, before work further on the conservation and ecological side of coral and after implementation; however, areas where MPAs have reefs. 14 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Appendix 1 Questionnaire used in Cambodia. 15 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 16 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Questionnaire used in the Philippines. 17 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 18 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Appendix 2 Extra data analysis. Table A1. Fishers’ opinions from responses gathered about MPAs Statistical test results Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Age (year) Gear operated Age (year) Fish sanctuaries increase the number of fish caught outside/around them t = 0.8, P = 0.455 P = 0.406 t = 0.1, P = 0.884 Fish sanctuaries increase the different types of fish in the area t = 1.3, P = 0.194 P = 0.667 t = 0.4, P = 0.713 Reefs and seagrass are important for fishing to be successful t = 0.7, P = 0.510 P = 0.008 t = −1.2, P = 0.232 Coral reefs/seagrass beds are important only for fish to shelter t = 0.3, P = 0.762 P = 0.130 – Fish sanctuaries strongly impact fishing t = −1.6, P = 0.111 P = 0.010 t = 0.3, P = 0.802 Fish sanctuaries increase conflicts between fishers – – t = 1.5, P = 0.141 Fish sanctuaries benefit only neighbouring coastal waters/barangays t = 0.3, P = 0.793 P = 0.026 t = 1.0, P = 0.325 Any new fish sanctuaries will result in conflicts in the community t = 0.1, P = 0.932 P = 1.000 t < 0.1, P = 0.987 Significant differences between selected variables were tested for each country (independent sample t-tests for interval normal age data and Fisher’s exact test for categorical data) and the appropriate statistical values presented, with P-values. Significant P-values are shown in bold. Responses measured on a five-point Likert-scale were reduced to a categorical variable of just ‘Agree’ (=1) and ‘Other’ (=0). b 2 Categories were mobile (=1) and static (=0) for gear-operated data. Fisher’s exact test was used as data did not meet the assumptions of the χ test. ‘Gear operated’ was not tested for data from the Philippines as all Filipino fishers used static gear. Table A2. Fishers’ opinions about MPA planning and management Variables Statistical test results Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Sanctuary development plans Age (year) t = 3.4, P = 0.002 t = 0.8, P = 0.454 Mobile/static gear χ2 = 0.1, P = 0.774 – operated Like to be involved in MPA planning Age (year) t = 2.9, P = 0.007 t = −0.9, P = 0.391 Mobile/static gear χ2 = 10.2, P = 0.001 – operated Type of management Age (year) t = 0.7, P = 0.491 t = −0.9, P = 0.393 Independent sample t-tests were used for interval normal age data and χ tests for categorical data. 19 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Appendix 3 Plagiarism disclaimer. 20 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Appendix 4 Risk Assessment. 21 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 22 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Dimech, M., Darmanin, M., Smith, I. P. et al. 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(2010) Stakeholders’ participa- fish in temperate regions: high density and biomass of snapper tion in the fisheries management decision-making process: Fishers’ Pagrus auratus (Sparidae) in northern New Zealand marine reserves, perceptions of participation, Marine Policy, 34, 1093–1102. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40, 214–227. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bioscience Horizons Oxford University Press

Perceptions of fishermen towards marine protected areas in Cambodia and the Philippines

Bioscience Horizons , Volume 5 – Oct 17, 2012

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BioscienceHorizons Volume 5 2012 10.1093/biohorizons/hzs007 Research article Perceptions of fishermen towards marine protected areas in Cambodia and the Philippines Mark Hamilton* School of Biological Sciences, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK. *Corresponding author: 12 Moffat Road, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG1 1NJ, UK. Email: m.hamilton.08@aberdeen.ac.uk Supervisors: Dr B. E. Scott and Dr C. Pita, School of Biological Sciences, Zoology Building, Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen AB24 2TZ, UK. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can be used to conserve parts of marine ecosystems, including fish stocks exploited by fisher - ies. Social acceptance of MPAs must be achieved if they are to function as effective management tools. Artisanal fishers oper - ating around tropical coral reef areas were questioned in an attempt to investigate their acceptance and perceptions of MPAs. Fishers from two areas were surveyed: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia, where MPAs are a new concept to fishers, and Southern Leyte, the Philippines, where MPAs have been used in management for over 10 years. Fishers’ opinions of MPAs from each study site were compared and variables affecting fishers’ opinions of MPAs were also investigated at each site. Although small sample sizes of fishers were observed at each study site, results showed that the majority of fishers at each site accepted MPAs as a management tool. Cambodian fishers felt the state of marine resources had worsened in the past decade (with regards to the number of fish, the size of fish and the number of species present in their catch), whereas most Filipino fishers had noticed an opposite trend. Older Cambodian fishers had greater acceptance of MPAs; age did not affect Filipino fishers’ acceptance, and did not affect any other opinions fishers had of MPAs at either site. Community-based management of MPAs was fishers’ preference at both sites. The study shows evidence of MPA support in Cambodia, with mobile gear users being more willing to be involved in MPA management. Most Filipino fishers felt that their MPA improved their catches, although there was evi - dence of conflict between fishers since the MPA was implemented. Key words: marine protected areas, artisanal fishery management, tropical fisheries, acceptance Submitted in May 2012; accepted in September 2012 Introduction need to be carefully considered during the planning stages, for example, creating an ‘MPA network’ (Moffitt, White and Marine protected areas (MPAs) are management tools where Botsford, 2011). MPA networks consist of several MPAs that human activities in areas of the marine environment, such as are sufficiently close to one another, allowing processes such as fishing, are prohibited or monitored in certain areas ( Sale et al., larval and adult dispersal to occur (Roberts et al., 2001). 2005; Moffitt, White and Botsford, 2011 ). Implementation can MPAs in the system can act as sources (supplying recruits to be based on a variety of factors, including conservation of other areas) or sinks (receiving exports from elsewhere) for fish habitats or ecosystems and management of commercial fish and larvae, complementing other MPAs (Williams et al., 2009; stocks. MPAs have been seen to be successful in protecting spe- Christie et al., 2010). Russ et al. (2008) report that the densi- cies biodiversity and the ecosystem (Teh, Teh and Chung, ties of fished species increased substantially within a large 2008; Fletcher, Saunders and Herbert, 2011; Mouillot et al., MPA network established on the Great Barrier Reef off the 2011), making them an effective tool in conservation manage- coast of north-eastern Australia compared with fished areas ment. The size, number and location of MPAs, as well as the nearby, illustrating the positive effects that MPAs can deliver. population dynamics of the species present, are factors that In tropical systems such as the Great Barrier Reef, coral reefs © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 are crucial for fish that feed on coral, which in turn maintain (2010) suggest that the public and stakeholders from multi- the dynamics of a healthy reef, providing other species with ple sectors should be involved, with each fully understanding shelter (Cheal et al., 2008); therefore, coral conservation and their role in the process and also the roles the MPA is larvae dispersal are important in these areas to prevent declines designed to fulfil. Alcala and Russ (2006) state that two in both coral cover and species dependent on coral. Many MPAs in the Philippines have been very successful since coral reef areas have already experienced a reduction in biodi- management changed from a government top-down versity (Graham et al., 2008). MPAs can also be designed to approach to co-management, involving locals and the gov- protect individual areas of high biodiversity, such as coral reefs ernment. Local involvement in the management and moni- or habitats containing endemic species to maintain species toring of MPAs in the Philippines has been seen to make the richness and genetic diversity in that area (Allen, 2008; Miller maintenance of MPAs easy and cheap once they have been and Ayre, 2008). Individual MPAs can be incorporated into implemented, causing the strategy to become popular MPA networks as management develops, providing benefits throughout the country (Uychiaoco et al., 2005). The way for relatively static species and also migratory species; this is a MPAs are managed is important in gaining support of locals more appropriate strategy than one extensive MPA for the and fishers; Himes (2003) found that fishers who felt unin- conservation of migratory species which would result in a sub- formed about MPA management in a top-down approach stantial loss of fishing ground for fisheries in the area (Le did not trust managers, and suggests that managers should Quesne and Codling, 2009). involve locals by asking their opinions and providing them with explanations at each management stage. Kareiva (2006) A huge problem around coral reef systems, and many other suggests that the local resource users in poor communities parts of the world, is overfishing. MPAs are a method of tack- would make better managers of marine resources than richer ling the detrimental effects of overfishing on fish populations, communities elsewhere, as the locals show a greater, broader such as reduced mean length as fishing pressure increases interest in their home area and rely directly on the resources (Cinner and McClanahan, 2006). Fishing can also disrupt the for their livelihoods, and do not have only an economic whole ecosystem, for example, when herbivorous fish or inver - interest; when managers are situated far from the natural tebrates are depleted, increased algal growth can have a nega- resources, it also makes it harder to enforce regulations to tive effect on coral growth (Hough-Guldberg et al., 2007; manage resources and gain compliance from the locals. Hughes, 2008), worsening the situation further for species dependent on coral. Management plans such as gear restric- The aim of this study is to investigate fishers’ opinions and tions can allow local fish stocks to recover providing an increase acceptance of MPAs in two countries, Cambodia and the in resources available to fishers in the area (McClanahan, Philippines. The two areas that were visited in each country Hicks, and Darling, 2008). Although fishers lose fishing had different levels of marine resource protection. Fishers in grounds, no-take MPAs provide better protection for exploited Cambodia had little experience of MPAs as a very low number species than partially protected areas and increase fishers’ existed along the country’s coast; the Ream MPA is one exam- yields in the long-term (Lester and Halpern, 2008), with the ple (Depondt and Green, 2006), although MPA efforts in exception of fisheries for highly mobile species (Hilborn et al., Cambodia are recent and conservation has been a low priority 2004); Willis, Millar and Babcock (2003) found that the den- in the past (Braatz, 1992). A new MPA was implemented close sity of a moderately mobile species was greater within no-take to the study site in Cambodia during data collection of the MPAs in New Zealand compared with the fished waters sur - present study [2011] and a new MPA has been proposed at the rounding them. Fished species survive better within MPAs and study site. The Philippines had several MPAs in the area stud- adult individuals proceed to move to surrounding areas where ied and 1169 throughout the country (in 2007; Aliño et al., fishing occurs; the export from MPAs increases fishers’ yields 2011), including some of the best known examples of MPA and is known as the ‘spillover effect’ (Alcala and Russ, 2006). success (Alcala and Russ, 2006). Fishers with a better knowl- Besides overfishing, coral reef communities face a range of edge of MPAs may show different levels of acceptance and issues such as climate change and ocean acidification (Hoegh- perceptions towards them than fishers who know little about Guldberg et al., 2007; Munday et al., 2008). The resilience of them. Findings will be used to show similarities and differ- coral reefs refers to their ability to withstand changes in the ences expressed by fishers, within and between countries. This environment and how well they can recover or adapt (West and information will give an insight into the aspects of MPAs that Salm, 2003); therefore, if fisheries are managed effectively, the fishers agree with and support, and also any preferences they result is healthier, more resilient ecosystems that have a better may have in terms of marine resource management. chance at coping with natural, stochastic changes (Hughes The hypotheses investigated in this study concern fishers’ et al., 2005; Keller et al., 2009). acceptance and perceptions of MPAs based on: (i) responses The success of MPAs as a means of management depends received between two study sites with differing levels of largely on participation from the people involved, including MPA management and (ii) fishers’ characteristics that may fishers. MPAs are more likely to succeed in their specific pur - affect their views of MPAs within each country. Both study poses if there is input and agreement from a range of stake- sites were concerned with MPA management to conserve holders that impact or are impacted by an MPA, for example, coral reef areas with similar species present; this meant that fishers and scientists (Klein et al., 2008). Gleason et al. the areas had something in common, and differed mainly in 2 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article the level of resource protection at each site. The aims were influencing fishers’ acceptance and perceptions of MPAs to survey fishers at each site using a similar approach to will be investigated with artisanal fishers in Cambodia and highlight any differences in perceptions towards MPAs, and the Philippines. also to shed light on any explanatory factors that affect fish- ers’ support for and opinions of MPAs. Materials and Methods Fishers’ opinions are not uniform and knowledge of the Study site variability of fishers’ opinions is likely to help increase MPA success (Dimech et al., 2009). Factors which influence fish- Data were collected on the island of Koh Rong, Cambodia, ers’ opinions and acceptance of MPAs, based on findings from July to August 2011 and in the barangay (village) of from other peer-reviewed studies, were used to test the Napantao, Panoan Island, Southern Leyte, in the Philippines, hypotheses. The age of fishers can influence their actions from September to October 2011. Both sites were the loca- and perceptions, including their opinions towards the man- tion of Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) expedition bases, a agement of their fishery (Tzanatos et al., 2006). Abernethy not-for-profit conservation organization dedicated to survey- et al. (2007) suggest that older fishers may have better ing coral reefs and working with local communities to pro- knowledge about reef dynamics and their natural resources mote sustainable management of marine resources. Figure 1 than younger fishers. Fishers operating different gear types shows each study site where data were collected from fishers can have varying opinions towards MPAs and restricted and other interviewees. MPAs were a new concept for fishers areas, for example, Blythe et al. (2002) found that static in Cambodia, and CCC had just begun work there alongside gear operators felt they should have their own fishing zones the Fisheries Administration of the Royal Government of that excluded mobile gear operators; however, the mobile Cambodia with the aim to implement an MPA around the gear operators felt they should be allowed to share fishing whole island of Koh Rong and the neighbouring island of zones with the static gear users. Pita, Pierce and Theodossiou Koh Rong Samloem. The fishing grounds available to local (2010) found that there are also differences between static communities in Cambodia increased in 2001 at the expense and mobile gear fishers’ opinions regarding the manage- of the number and size of commercial fishing areas, however, ment of MPAs, with most static fishers perceiving restric- the enforcement of regulations by government authorities tions as beneficial whereas fishers who used mobile gear and effective management have been poor (Ratner, 2006), were less in favour of the restrictions and did not feel as encouraging conservation groups to take action. In the involved in decision-making processes. If fishers are involved Philippines, fishers were familiar with MPAs, as several had in a management scheme they agree with, such as MPAs, already been implemented in the Sogod Bay area; the MPA in there is a greater chance that they will support that manage- Napantao, where the survey took place, was implemented by ment as they feel a sense of responsibility (Alcala and Russ, the Provincial Government in 1996 as a means to protect 2006). Fishers’ acceptance of MPAs has been seen to be natural marine resources for the local fishers and also due to greater when they are involved in the management and also western influences, urging the conservation of biodiversity when the fishers perceive the benefits of MPAs (such as (Chaigneau, 2008). The management of Napantao MPA increases in their catch and providing nursery grounds for improved substantially from 2002 when CCC began assess- fish) from their own fishing experiences (Gelcich, Godoy ing the state of the coral reef and working with the villagers and Castilla, 2009; Leleu et al., 2012). These factors in the Southern Leyte Coral Reef Conservation Project. Figure 1. Study sites on Koh Rong island, Cambodia, and Napantao, Southern Leyte, the Philippines, showing the locations of CCC expedition bases in the villages where the surveys took place (filled red circle). 3 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Table 1 summarizes the details of MPAs at each study site. Fishers from both countries fished in an artisanal man- ner, but differed in the type of gear they used (the gear most frequently used by Cambodian and Filipino fishers were seine nets and hooks and lines, respectively). The MPA studied in the Philippines was much smaller than the one proposed around Koh Rong, resulting in far fewer fishers exploiting it, however, fishers in Napantao all fished near the MPA, meaning that fishing pressure may have been rela- tively high for the given area around the MPA. Figure 2 shows the location of the MPA where data were collected in the present study, as well as other surrounding MPAs, in the Sogod Bay area of the Philippines. The figure also shows details of how each MPA was managed in 2010 (from work done by CCC). Questionnaire design Questionnaires were created to investigate the opinions of fishers towards various aspects of MPAs and assess their support for MPAs. The questionnaires included two sec- tions: (A) section with personal questions about the fisher (such as their age, fishing methods, species frequently caught, religion, etc.) and (B) section regarding fishers’ opinions Figure 2. MPAs present in the Sogod Bay area, the Philippines, in about the effects of MPAs and their willingness to be 2010, including management status (green = well-managed, involved in the management process. For the latter section, yellow = poorly managed and red = no management) determined by many of the questions were constructed using a Likert-scale CCC. The study site MPA (Napantao) is shown within the black box answering system (ranging from ‘Strongly Disagree’ to (map modified from CCC). ‘Strongly Agree’). Other questions had categorical answers, such as ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The questionnaires were designed to between the two countries. The wording of certain questions allow for a comparison of a range of opinions (from Section differed between Cambodia and the Philippines, as B) to the types of fishers (from Section A) to see whether the Cambodia has very few MPAs or methods of management in responses were caused by fishers’ characteristics ( explanatory place, whereas the Philippines have had several MPAs imple- variables). Such connections could then be compared mented in the study area over the last decade. The question- naires differed slightly, so they were relevant for each area. Appendix 1 shows the questionnaires used in the present Table 1. Description of MPAs at each study site study. MPAs Cambodia Philippines Survey technique Name – Napantao Surveys were carried out by one interviewer (the author) and Year established Proposed 1996 a translator. The questionnaire used in Cambodia was trans- Area (km ) ~3.83 >0.1 lated into Khmer (the most widely spoken language in Cambodia) and the questionnaire used in the Philippines was Number of ~4 (tourist resorts expected in 1 villages present the future) carried out in English (with the aid of a translator speaking Visayan, the regional language). Translators asked the ques- Prohibition Multiple-use area No-take tions to each fisher and translated the responses so that the Gear used most Seine nets Hook and line interviewer could mark the answers on each questionnaire. frequently Fishers were found randomly in Cambodia along the beach Number of fishers >100 ~50 and on piers where their boats were; questionnaires had to be operating around carried out opportunistically as fishers only came ashore for the MPA area one or two nights at a time, which was largely dependent on General Around entire coastline of Koh One of several the weather and sea conditions. In the Philippines, the surveys description Rong; restriction ranging from small MPAs in were mostly conducted in fishers’ houses (known by the trans- no-take to minimal the area (see limitations. Fig. 2). lator) and also with fishers who were approached opportunis- tically around Napantao. Most surveys took 15–20 min, Cambodia is still in the early planning stages of MPAs, with limited informa- tion available. One new, no-take MPA exists around the tourist resort islands depending on how much information the fishers gave and of Song Saa, northeast Koh Rong (currently under construction [2011]). whether there were any issues caused by the language barrier. 4 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Sometimes fishers were approached as a group, where each tabulated to show the percentage of responses to each question question was asked to the fishers one by one and the responses from each study area. Categorical responses were presented as were marked on each questionnaire corresponding to the cor- ‘Yes’, ‘No’ and ‘Maybe/DK’, where ‘Maybe’ and ‘Don’t know’ rect fisher. Fishers were all artisanal and often fished in crews, responses were combined. Ordinal responses were measured on for example, in the Philippines, one fisher owned several boats a five-point Likert-scale (ranging from ‘Strongly agree’ to used by other fishers in the crew. A total of 29 fishers were ‘Strongly disagree’) and then reduced to a three-point Likert surveyed in Cambodia and 20 in the Philippines. Interviews scale (due to the small sample sizes), containing only the were also carried out with key stakeholders in Cambodia responses ‘Agree’, ‘Neutral’ (neither agree nor disagree) and only: with the village chief (with a translator) and the CCC ‘Disagree’. The Likert-scale responses were also presented as expedition leader and project scientist. Responses were percentages of each response from fishers at each study site. recorded in a log book during each interview. Statistical tests Data analysis H : There will be no difference between fishers’ acceptance Data organization and perceptions towards MPAs from responses received at Prior to analysis, all questionnaire data were entered into a each study site. database using Microsoft Excel. Data were copied into a First, the question ‘Are protected areas a good thing?’ statistical software package (IBM SPSS, version 19), where it (Q7, Appendix 1), measured categorically (‘Yes’, ‘No’ and was analysed against selected variables (Table 2). ‘Maybe/DK’), was used as a proxy for fishers’ acceptance of MPAs. Results were displayed as descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics Secondly, fishers’ opinions relating to MPAs (such as their Responses from Section A of the questionnaires were tabulated impact on fishing activity and the local community) were to show the mean and standard deviation of continuous data investigated. Fishers’ views towards MPAs were investigated and the frequencies of occurrence of categorical data. Categorical at each study site (the Cambodia site where MPAs are a novel and ordinal data from Section B of the questionnaires were also concept and the Philippines site where MPAs have been Table 2. Factors used to test fishers’ opinions and acceptance of MPAs Impact on fishers’ acceptance/ Variables Literature reference Tested in this study perceptions of MPAs Fishers’ age Alter tactics or behaviour; may affect Tzanatos et al. (2006) Age data were tested using two independent- MPA acceptance sample t-tests (parametric tests as the age data were continuous and normally distributed using Shapiro–Wilks test for normality) Younger/more experienced fishers Leleu et al. (2012) are more positive towards MPAs Type of fishing gear Static gear users feel more involved Pita, Pierce and A categorical variable (mobile gear = 1, static operated (mobile/ in management; also more Theodossiou (2010) gear = 0) was used to test data using non-para- static) accepting of restrictions metric χ tests (or Fisher’s exact test when the data did not meet assumptions) Different gear operators have Blythe et al. (2002) different opinions of MPAs Species in catch Squid fishers are not severely Lunn and Dearden (2006) A categorical variable (fishers who catch affected by fishery development and squid = 1, fishers who do not catch squid = 0) was do not notice declines in catches used to test data using non-parametric Fisher’s over time exact tests (as data did not meet χ assumptions). Fishers’ management More likely to obey rules and feel Alcala and Russ (2006) A categorical variable (co-management = 0, preference involved in the process when given community-based management = 1) was used to a choice; more accepting test data using Fishers exact test (as data did not meet χ assumptions) Fishers’ experience of Fishers who have experience of Leleu et al. (2012) Cambodia fishers had no experience of MPAs so MPAs MPAs perceive them as beneficial no tests were done to test fishers’ acceptance Fishers who have seen benefits of Gelcich, Godoy and Castilla MPAs are more likely to support and (2009), Russ, Alcala and manage MPAs Maypa (2003) This was the only variable that was not tested against responses to the question, ‘Are MPAs a good thing?’, and was tested using only data from the Philippines study site. 5 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 present for over a decade) using a five-point Likert-scale (Q8, tested against whether they caught squid or not for fishers at Appendix 1). The responses gathered were collapsed to a both sites, as squid was commonly caught at both sites (Lunn three-point Likert-scale (‘Agree’, ‘Neutral’ and ‘Disagree’) and Dearden, 2006, state that squid fishers do not feel their and statistical tests were used to determine whether fishers’ target species decrease over time compared with finfish fishers); responses between study areas differed significantly. The data categorical variables were used (increase in the number of were ordinal, so non-parametric Kruskal–Wallis tests were most-caught species = 1, other = 0; squid present in catch = 1, used. Results were displayed with descriptive statistics. squid not present in catch = 0). Whether fishers caught squid (=1) or not (=0) was also tested against fishers’ acceptance of Fishers’ management preferences were also investigated MPAs for Cambodian fishers only. and compared between study sites. Fishers were asked which of the four management options they would prefer for MPAs As Filipino fishers were the only ones to have previous expe- in the future (Q11d, Appendix 1): (1) ‘Management by the rience of MPAs, only data gathered in the Philippines were government’, (2) ‘Management by both fishers and govern- used to test whether previous MPA experience affected fishers’ ment’, (3) ‘Local community-based management excluding perceptions of the effects of MPAs. Fishers’ perceptions of how women’ and (4) ‘Local community-based management marine resources have changed over time (Q9, Appendix 1) including women’. A categorical variable was created by were compared with underwater visual census survey data grouping responses 1 and 2 together and responses 3 and 4 (from within Napantao MPA, provided by CCC) to investigate together: co-management (joint management by the local whether fishers’ perceptions of resources matched evidence community and the local government; =0) and community- directly from the reef. Once survey data were collated, a line based management (=1), respectively. Fishers who opted for graph was created showing the change in the mean number of the ‘Management by the government’ option were included different size classes of fusilier fish (the only species that in the co-management category, as few fishers responded appeared frequently enough to provide sufficient data for a with that answer (3 in Cambodia; 2 in the Philippines). A χ comparison between information in reef surveys and question- test was used to determine if management preference differed naires) over time. Data were from the years 2008, 2010 and between countries, as both management and country data 2011, so fish numbers for 2009 were estimated for each size (Cambodia = 1, Philippines = 2) were categorical. class by taking the means of fish numbers from 2008 and 2010. A categorical variable (a positive change in resources H : There will be no effect of fishers’ characteristics on over time = 1, other = 0) was tested against responses relating their perceptions or acceptance of MPAs. to fishers’ involvement in MPA planning using Fisher’s exact test (as data did not meet χ test assumptions) to investigate Statistical tests were used to test differences in fishers’ per - whether fishers’ willingness to be involved in management was ceptions about MPAs. Responses to the question ‘Are protected influenced by their perception of the state of resources. areas a good thing?’ were collapsed to a categorical variable of ‘Yes’ (=1) and ‘Other’ (=0, including the responses ‘No’, Limitations/sources of error ‘Maybe’ and ‘Don’t know’). All but three fishers from the Small sample sizes from both study sites (Cambodia: n = 29, Philippines site fell into the ‘Yes’ category, so statistics were only Philippines: n = 20) affected the statistical tests by increasing carried out with data from Cambodian fishers for this particu- effects from any atypical data and making results less reliable. lar question. Several characteristics of Cambodian fishers (age, Fishers were occasionally questioned in a group, who may gear operated, species in catch and management preference) have caused their responses to be more similar than if they were tested against these responses to investigate their accep- had been questioned alone, due to peer pressure. Using differ- tance of MPAs, as shown in Table 2. Fishers were asked whether ent translators at both locations could have had an effect on they operated a range of fishing gear (Q3, Appendix 1) and the data collected; each translator could have worded certain responses were reduced to two categories: mobile gear (gear questions in their own way, affecting the responses given by that is pulled over a distance by a vessel, for example trawl nets; each fisher. The translation of the questionnaire from English =1) and static gear (gear that is set or used within a small area, to Khmer could also have changed the meaning of some ques- for example, seine nets or spearguns; =0). Management prefer- tions. Fish data from underwater visual census surveys were ence (Q11d, Appendix 1) was also reduced to two categories: gathered by various CCC SCUBA divers, with estimations of community-based management (=1) and co-management fish numbers possibly differing between divers. between fishers and their local government (= 0). A range of other variables regarding fishers’ opinions of MPAs were tested to investigate their acceptance of MPAs; these responses were Results measured on a five-point Likert-scale (Q8, Appendix 1) ranging from ‘Strongly agree’ to ‘Strongly disagree’ and reduced to a Respondent characteristics categorical variable of ‘Agree’ (=1, including the responses ‘Strongly agree’ and ‘Agree’) and ‘Other’ (=0, including Table 3 shows a summary of responses to the questions used ‘Strongly disagree’, ‘Disagree’ and ‘Neither agree nor disagree’) to gather fishers’ background information. The mean age of to test fisher’s acceptance of MPAs. Fishers’ perceptions of a fishers was greater at the Philippines site (39.1 years) com- change in the number of individuals present in their catch were pared with Cambodia (31.5 years), as was the mean years of 6 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Table 3. Descriptive statistics for fishers in the survey Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Mean (Std. Dev.) Frequencies of occurrence (%) Mean (Std. Dev.) Frequencies of occurrence (%) Socio-economic characteristics Age (year) 31.45 (8.99) – 39.05 (11.72) – Experience fishing (year) 12.70 (7.79) – 17.40 (10.74) – Has another job not – 10.3 – 90.0 connected to fisheries Religious beliefs – 96.6 – 100.0 Main religions Buddhism – 100.0 – 0.0 Roman Catholic – 0.0 – 90.0 Fishing characteristics Boat length (m) 11.88 (1.60) – 3.71 (0.77) – Boat power (HP) 23.23 (2.87) – 0.74 (2.09) – Fishing methods Crab nets – 20.7 – 0.0 Seine nets – 44.8 – 25.0 Spearfishing – 0.0 – 30.0 Trawl (drag nets) – 24.1 – 0.0 Long lines – 0.0 – 5.0 Hook and line – 0.0 – 85.0 Other – 34.5 – 25.0 Species present in catch Squid – 27.6 – 70.0 Jack/Trevally – 51.7 – 15.0 Crab – 24.1 – 0.0 Red Snapper – 44.8 – 0.0 Shrimp – 20.7 – 0.0 Fusilier – 48.3 – 45.0 Mackerel – 0.0 – 35.0 Fishing operation Distance from coast 90.85 (122.19) – 0.88 (1.78) – (km) Times per week 6.24 (0.99) – 4.23 (2.37) – Totals sum to more than 100% due to some fishers using more than one fishing method or catching more than one species. experience (Philippines = 17.4, Cambodia = 12.7). Figure 3 nets were operated by fishers in both sites (Cambodia = 44.8% shows the age distribution of respondents in both countries; fishers, Philippines = 25.0% of fishers). There was more over - the modal age for fishers in Cambodia was 31 years, and in lap between the species caught by fishers, as squid, jacks and the Philippines the modal ages were 27, 34 and 45 (the mean fusiliers were caught at both study sites. of which equalled 35.3 years for the three values), although the ages of Filipino respondents extended to higher values The majority of fishers (~90%) questioned in Cambodia did than in Cambodia (as can be seen from Fig. 3). The fishing not have another source of income, whereas the opposite was gear operated by fishers at both sites varied, although seine true in the Philippines where only 10% of fishers’ only source 7 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 of income was from fishing. Almost all fishers in Cambodia Cambodia than the Philippines (11.9 and 3.7 m, respectively). (~97%) and all fishers in the Philippines had religious beliefs. Mean boat power was also much higher in Cambodia Buddhism was the dominating religion for Cambodian fishers (23.2 HP, Philippines = 0.7 HP) as well as the mean distance (100% of those who had religious beliefs) and most Filipino travelled to reach fishing grounds (Cambodia = 90.9 km, fishers were Roman Catholic (90%; the remaining fishers Philippines = 0.9 km). The mean distance data from Cambodian were part of the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries fishers had a very large standard deviation value (SD = 122.2) Association). Mean boat length was over three times greater in due to fishers varying widely in the distance they travelled. With such large differences between study sites, the variable ‘country’ can account for ‘another job’, ‘religious beliefs’, ‘boat length/ power’ and ‘distance from coast’ data. Opinions about MPAs Table 4 shows a greater percentage of Filipino fishers (85.0%) answered positively to the question ‘Are protected areas a good thing?’ compared with fishers in Cambodia (62.1%), with no Filipino fishers giving the answer of a definite ‘No’, illustrating the greater support for MPAs in the Philippines. Table 5 shows that there were no significant differences between fishers’ responses from each study site concerning increased fish numbers (H = 4.69, df = 2, P > 0.05) or increased number of species (H = 5.56, df = 2, P > 0.05) around MPAs; age, gear operated and management prefer- ence did not significantly affect responses either (Table A1, Figure 3. Frequency distribution graph showing the ages of all fishers questioned in Cambodia (grey) and the Philippines (black). Appendix 2). There were significant differences between sites Table 4. Fishers’ opinions about marine protected areas % Responses Question Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Yes No Maybe/DK Yes No Maybe/DK MPAs Are protected areas a good thing? 62.1 31.0 6.9 85.0 0 15.0 Table 5. Descriptive statistics on survey statements designed to quantify fishers’ opinions about MPAs, showing Kruskal–Wallis test results % Responses Kruskal–Wallis Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) statistic, P-value D N A D N A Fish sanctuaries increase the number of fish caught outside/around them 0 27.6 72.4 10.0 10.0 80.0 4.69, P = 0.096 Fish sanctuaries increase the different types of fish in the area 0 24.1 75.9 10.0 5.0 85.0 5.56, P = 0.062 Reefs and seagrass are important for fishing to be successful 58.6 6.9 34.5 0 5.0 95.0 18.73, P < 0.001 Coral reefs/seagrass beds are only important for fish to shelter 65.5 3.5 31.0 0 0 100.0 22.83, P < 0.001 Fish sanctuaries strongly impact fishing 34.4 38.0 27.6 10.0 0 90.0 18.78, P < 0.001 Fish sanctuaries increase conflicts between fishers 75.9 24.1 0 65.0 5.0 30.0 11.32, P = 0.003 Fish sanctuaries only benefit neighbouring coastal waters/villages 3.4 20.8 75.8 10.0 10.0 80.0 1.65, P = 0.438 Any new fish sanctuaries will result in conflicts in the community 65.5 3.5 31.0 35.0 10.0 55.0 4.48, P = 0.106 Statements were measured in a five-point Likert-scale and subsequently dropped to a three-point Likert-scale: Disagree (D), Neutral/Neither agree nor disagree (N) and Agree (A). Significant P-values are shown in bold. 8 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Table 6. Fishers’ opinions about the state of resources % Responses Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Yes No Maybe/DK Yes No Maybe/DK Perception state of resources I n the last 3 years, compared to 10 years ago, I’ve noticed a difference in the . . . . . . number of [most fished species] in the catch 69.0 24.1 6.9 50.0 20.0 30.0 . . . size of [most fished species] in the catch 55.2 27.6 17.2 75.0 15.0 10.0 . . . number of different species present in the catch 58.7 31.0 10.3 70.0 25.0 5.0 in perceptions towards reefs and seagrass, in terms of whether they were important for fishing (H = 18.73, df = 2, P < 0.001) and whether their only importance was to provide shelter for fish (H = 22.83, df = 2, P < 0.001). Most Filipino fishers felt reefs and seagrass were important for fishing (95%) and pro- vided shelter for fished species (100%), illustrating how important they considered them to be compared with the Cambodian fishers. There was a significant difference in responses to MPAs impacting fishing activity between sites (H = 18.78, df = 2, P < 0.001); a larger proportion of Filipino fishers stated MPAs did affect fishing activity than Cambodian fishers (90% and 28%, respectively), showing that fishers with experience of operating around MPAs feel MPAs do make a difference to their fishing activities. The type of gear operated influenced Cambodian fishers’ responses (Fisher’s exact: P < 0.05; Table A1, Appendix 2), with static gear users thinking MPAs would impact fishing more than mobile gear Figure 4. Graph showing the change in the mean number of fusilier users. There was a significant difference between sites as to fish individuals of different size classes observed during underwater whether MPAs cause conflicts between fishers (H = 11.32, surveys with time, over 4 years. Data were collected by underwater df = 2, P < 0.05) with only some Filipino fishers (30%) per - visual surveys within Napantao MPA (data provided by CCC). ceiving MPAs to cause conflicts, from personal experience; however, fishers between sites did not significantly differ in Philippines). All Cambodian fishers who noticed a difference their opinions that a new MPA would cause conflict within in the state of resources felt that resources were better 10 communities (H = 4.48, df = 2, P > 0.05). Fishers from years ago and had only noticed negative changes, compared Cambodia, an area where MPAs were in the pre-implementa- with Filipino fishers who had noticed positive changes when tion stage, did not anticipate any conflict from MPAs whereas fishing around their MPA. Cambodian fishers’ perception of fishers with experience of MPAs in the Philippines had a change in the number of their most-caught species was not noticed conflict, but only between the fishers themselves significantly affected by whether they caught squid or not showing how the presence or absence of MPAs can alter fish- (P = 0.209), with fishers who caught squid being evenly split ers’ opinions. between perceiving an increase in the number of individuals Opinions about state of resources in their catch (n = 4) and thinking otherwise (n = 4). The same was true of Filipino fishers (P = 1.000), with an equal Most fishers from both study sites had noticed a difference in number of squid fishers perceiving an increase in individuals the state of marine resources in the past decade. Table 6 in their catch (n = 7) and thinking otherwise (n = 7). shows that the most common response was ‘Yes’ to a per- ceived change in the number of fishers’ most-targeted species Figure 4 shows the change in the mean number of fusilier present in their catch (69.0% in Cambodia, 50.0% in the fish (Caesionidae) of three different size classes over time Philippines), the sizes of the most-targeted species (55.2% in within Napantao MPA (survey site in the Philippines). Sixty- Cambodia, 75.0% in the Philippines) and the number of dif- five per cent of Filipino fishers who noticed a difference in the ferent species caught (58.7% in Cambodia, 70.0% in the number of their most-caught species felt that there had been 9 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Table 7. Fishers’ opinions about MPA management % Responses Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Yes No Yes No Management Have you ever been asked to start/stop using any kind of fishing gear? 10.3 89.7 40.0 60.0 Involvement in planning of MPAs a b Do you know of /Have you ever been involved in the development of any sanctuary 41.4 58.6 65.0 35.0 development plans Would you like to be/Did you like being involved in the planning of sanctuaries 48.3 51.7 90.0 10.0 Cambodia. Philippines. an increase in the last decade. Figure 4 shows that the two Table 8. Fishers’ involvement in MPA management in the Philippines, smaller size classes of fusiliers decreased in recent years tested against perceived benefits of Napantao MPA using Fisher’s exact (1–10 cm: slope = −1.33, 11–20 cm: slope = −7.49), contra- test (data did not meet χ assumptions) dicting the fishers’ views of numbers increasing (although fusiliers were one of the most-caught species for only 30% of Statistical test results Fishers’ opinions Filipino fishers). Of the fishers who noticed a difference in the Philippines (n = 20) size of their most fished species, 70% felt that the size had increased over the last decade. Figure 4 shows the largest size Previously involved in MPA development class of fusiliers (21–30 cm) was the only size class to increase in number (slope = 1.66), which reflects fishers’ perceptions Increase in number of most fished P = 0.587 of the increasing presence of larger fish in more recent years. species 85.7% of fishers who perceived a change in the number of Increase in size of most fished species P = 0.270 different species present in their catch felt that there had been an increase. Increase in number of species present P = 0.613 Opinions about management of MPAs Like to be involved in MPA planning Most fishers in Cambodia (89.7%) stated that they had never Increase in number of most fished P = 0.368 been asked to change their fishing methods, which is also true species for the Philippines although there was a more even split with Increase in size of most fished species P = 0.284 60.0% of fishers never being asked, as shown in Table 7. Most Cambodian fishers did not know of any MPA plans Increase in number of species present P = 0.447 (41.4% claimed they did know), however, approximately half (48.3%) said they would like to be involved in MPA planning procedures. Most fishers in the Philippines (65.0%) said they had been involved in MPA planning at some stage Table 8 shows that Filipino fishers’ previous involvement (even if it was only attending informative meetings in the in any MPA plans or any desire to be involved were not sig- barangay) and 90.0% said they liked being (or would like to nificantly affected by their perceptions of whether MPAs be) involved. Clearly, Filipino fishers show more of an inter - increase the number of fish, size of fish or number of species est and are keener to be involved in the management of the present in their catch. The benefits observed from Napantao MPA in their area; in Cambodia, where the MPA did not yet MPA therefore did not influence fishers’ decisions to get exist and plans to implement one were largely unknown, involved in MPA management. there was a much lower level of support. There was no sig- nificant difference in management preference between the Cambodian fishers who stated that they would like to be two study sites (χ = 3.0, df = 1, P = 0.084); 83.3% of fishers involved in MPA planning had a significantly greater mean who responded in Cambodia preferred community-based age (35.9 years; t = 2.9, df = 27, P < 0.05) than those who management compared with 60.0% of fishers in the stated that they would not like to be involved (mean Philippines. age = 27.3 years; Table A2, Appendix 2); the type of gear 10 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article operated by Cambodian fishers also affected whether they Management preference, species targeted and all of the state- would like to be involved in MPA planning or not (χ = 10.2, ments regarding fishers’ perceptions of MPAs shown in df = 1, P < 0.05), with mobile gear operators being more will- Table 9 had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on Cambodian ing to participate (11 out of 13 static gear users did not want fishers’ responses regarding their acceptance of MPAs. to be involved and 12 out of 16 mobile gear users said they would like to be involved). All Filipino fishers surveyed used Discussion static gear, so although Cambodian static gear users were less keen to be involved in the implementation of a new MPA, the Participation from fishers is crucial for implementing manage- majority of static gear users in the Philippines had been ment tools, such as MPAs, which is often difficult to gain due involved in the management of their MPA once it was created to fishers having different opinions towards management and enjoyed the experience; this shows a clear difference in (Dimech et al., 2009). The planning, implementation and man- the attitudes of static gear users between countries with vary- agement of MPAs are all dependent on human aspects, as well ing degrees of marine resource protection. as conservation considerations (Charles and Wilson, 2009). If social challenges of MPAs are not given adequate attention Acceptance of MPAs (such as gaining acceptance of those dependent on resources in Table 9 shows that fishers accepting MPAs were significantly that area), then MPAs that succeed in their biological aims older (mean age = 34.8 years) than those who answered oth- may become ineffective if locals have low levels of support erwise (mean age = 25.9 years) in Cambodia (t = 2.9, df = 27, (Christie, 2004). Understanding the variability of fishers’ per - P < 0.05). Age also influenced Cambodian fishers’ responses ceptions is therefore of high priority for MPAs to have optimal regarding knowledge of any MPA development plans with results as management tools. There is a large degree of vari- fishers who did know of plans having a greater mean age ance in the context of individual MPAs (biological, social and (37.2 years) than those who did not (mean age = 27.4; t = 3.4, management implications) at different sites, making it difficult df = 27, P < 0.05) (Table A2, Appendix 2). The type of gear to generalize what is required for the success of MPAs (Villa, operated did not affect Cambodian fishers’ acceptance of Tunesi and Agardy, 2002). The aim of this study was to show MPAs, however, it did affect whether they felt MPAs would the factors affecting fishers’ perceptions and acceptance of impact their fishing (static gear users’ opinions were evenly MPAs from two separate locations: Cambodia, where MPAs split, however, 15 out of 16 mobile gear users felt their fishing were a novel idea at the study site, and the Philippines, where would not be affected, P < 0.05) (Table A1, Appendix 2). MPAs were well known in the study area and had been present Table 9. Fishers’ MPA acceptance Statistical test results Variables Cambodia (n = 29) MPAs are a good thing Age (year) t = 2.9, P = 0.007 Mobile/static gear operated P = 0.702 Species targeted P = 0.671 Management preference P = 1.000 Fish sanctuaries increase the number of fish caught outside/around them P = 0.671 Fish sanctuaries increase the different types of fish in the area P = 0.677 Reefs and seagrass are important for fishing to be successful P = 0.432 Coral reefs/seagrass beds are only important for fish to shelter P = 0.412 Fish sanctuaries strongly impact fishing P = 0.197 Fish sanctuaries only benefit neighbouring coastal waters/barangays P = 0.375 Any new fish sanctuaries will result in conflicts in the community P = 0.096 Selected variables were tested against data from Cambodia using independent sample t-tests for interval normal data and Fisher’s exact test (as data did not meet χ assumptions) for categorical data. The appropriate statistical values were presented with P-values. Significant P-values are shown in bold. Data were tested based on whether fishers caught squid (=1) or not (=0). 11 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 for over a decade. Results show differences in fishers’ attitudes around it for them to catch; Tetreault and Ambrose (2007) towards MPAs and factors that did or did not influence their report that target species of fish were more abundant and opinions. The small sample sizes of fishers at each study site larger inside MPAs off the coast of California which may also (Cambodia: n = 29, Philippines: n = 20) are limitations to the be true for the MPA at the Philippines site in this study, which findings of this study, possibly causing false-positive associa- some fishers may have noticed. Few Cambodian fishers felt tions between variables or a lack of significance (Hackshaw, that reefs or seagrass were important to their fishing activity, 2008), therefore results cannot be treated with a great deal of possibly as their fishing grounds were so far from the inshore confidence; this study does, however, provide a useful insight waters where these habitats occur, as many fishers stated that into the trends of fishers’ perceptions and acceptance towards they only fished over areas of sandy substrate (although coral MPAs at both sites and may act as a pilot study that could aid fragments could be seen entangled in fishing nets, from per - in the design of a more comprehensive study in the future. Any sonal observations). Filipino fishers’ opinions about reefs and future studies should aim to collect data from a larger sample seagrass contradicted that of Cambodian fishers, as all but one size of fishers in order to have confidence in any statistical out- Filipino fisher felt that reefs were important for fishing to be puts during data analysis. successful. Gelcich, Edwards-Jones and Kaiser (2005) found that fishers in Chile had positive views towards conservation Comparison of findings at each study site of the natural environment and acknowledged how important it was to their fishing; views that are similar to those expressed Differing socio-economic and fishing characteristics (includ- by Filipino fishers in this study. ing experience of MPAs) may be responsible for the differ- ences observed in responses between Filipino and Cambodian MPAs are a novel concept in Cambodia, although the fishers. A higher proportion of Filipino fishers felt MPAs majority of Cambodian fishers accepted the idea of MPAs. were ‘a good thing’, which is likely due to the fishers having Management of marine resources did exist in the surround- already seen benefits of the MPA reflected in their catches ing areas of the Cambodia study site; ‘Steung Haav’ was since the MPA was implemented in Napantao; Russ, Alcala mentioned by seven fishers when they were asked if they and Maypa (2003) show that another MPA in the Philippines knew of any development plans: this was an area on the coast has caused fishers to notice an increase in catch rates and of mainland Cambodia ~25 km from the study site where predict that support of MPAs rises among locals because of larger boats were not allowed to operate. No Cambodian this. None of the Filipino fishers answered ‘No’ to the ques- fishers knew about the newly implemented MPA at Song Saa tion ‘Are MPAs a good thing?’ and three gave neutral answers (northeast of the island) which suggests that they are ill- to the question, which suggests that they did not associate the informed about MPA plans in their area (less than half of MPA with having negative impacts on their fishing activity fishers knew of any MPA development plans). Marshall et al. (Leleu et al., 2012). McClanahan, Maina and Davies (2005) (2010) found that over three-fourths of fishers in Egypt did state that acceptance of a management strategy increases the not know that the waters of their coastal village were part of longer management has been in place. MPAs have been pres- an MPA; this, as well as Cambodian fishers’ lack of knowl- ent for longer (over a decade) at the Philippines site com- edge, suggests that information regarding development plans pared with Cambodia (where only one MPA existed on the in an area must be relayed to the fishers it may concern to other side of the island, which few fishers knew about), which avoid the ignorance of social aspects of MPAs and low com- could explain why fishers in the Philippines were more pliance levels (Claudet and Guidetti, 2010). A lack of com- accepting of MPAs than Cambodian fishers. munication, as well as ineffective management enforcement by the government, seems to be a problem for many artisanal Fishing vessels in the Philippines travelled a much shorter fisheries (Himes, 2003; Hauck et al., 2002). Perhaps distance from the coast during fishing trips (meaning their fish- Cambodian fishers were accepting of MPAs as they felt the ing grounds were adjacent to the MPA) than observed in need for a better management strategy. Community-based Cambodia, which is probably linked to the fact that the boats management was the option chosen by most fishers at each were much smaller and less powerful (most were paddle study site (over co-management with the government); how- boats). Cambodian vessels were larger and more powerful so ever, few Cambodian fishers were willing to be involved in fishing grounds further from the coast could be exploited, also MPA planning, suggesting that a community-based manage- because the fishers often had fishing trips lasting several days ment plan in that area may require greater levels of support and had to live aboard their boats. Fishing close to an MPA from the locals than observed in this study. may cause Filipino fishers to notice the spillover effects better, such as increases in the number and size of individuals in their Few Cambodian fishers felt that MPAs would impact their yield (Stelzenmüller et al., 2008) as was noticed by fishers in fishing, compared with Filipino fishers who mostly felt that this study. Several Filipino fishers said the MPA acted as a the MPA had already impacted their fishing by increasing the spawning and nursery ground for fish (also noticed by fishers number and size of fish in their catch, showing they are aware in the study by Leleu et al., 2012) and allowed more fish to be of the benefits of their MPA (also found by Leleu et al., 2012). caught by fishers in the village, indicating that they anticipated None of the Cambodian fishers felt an MPA would increase improved catches around the MPA. Other Filipino fishers felt conflicts between fishers; however, 30% of Filipino fishers that there were more fish within the MPA but not outside or felt that conflicts had increased as a result of their MPA. The 12 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article perceptions of increased conflict could be due to Filipino fish- ple sizes). As found by Leleu et al. (2012), Filipino fishers did ers already having experienced conflict concerning their not feel that the MPA was a negative addition to the waters MPA; McClanahan and Mangi (2000) report that conflicts around Napantao, although the underwater visual surveys increased between different MPA users and different gear suggested that individual numbers of smaller fusilier fish had users once an MPA was implemented in Kenya, until man- declined in the last 4 years (Fig. 4). The slight increase in agement steps were taken to reduce conflict. MPAs that suc- large fusilier individuals matched Filipino fisher’s perceptions ceed in biological terms may not be effective in social terms if of catching larger fish, although greater sample sizes of fish- they cause conflicts, which may eventually cause them to be ers (and underwater survey replicates) would give a clearer unsuccessful as a form of management (Christie, 2004); idea of how accurately fishers view the change in their therefore, it is important that efforts to resolve conflicts are resources (Neis et al., 1999 suggest that fishers’ perceptions made (as described by McClanahan and Mangi, 2000). of resources often reflect reality). At both study sites, fishers’ perceptions of the state of resources were not influenced by Eec ff t of fisher characteristics on perception whether they caught squid or not. Lunn and Dearden (2006) of MPAs found that fishers who targeted invertebrates, such as squid, were not affected as much by declining stocks due to the life Older Cambodian fishers were more accepting of MPAs and histories of many invertebrates allowing stocks to recover also more willing to be involved in MPA management plans. quicker than finfish; few fishers in this study only targeted Leleu et al. (2012) found that older, more experienced arti- squid so it is likely that their perceptions of resources were sanal fishers in the Mediterranean were less positive in their influenced by other species in their catch. perceptions towards MPAs. Although older Cambodian fish- ers showed support towards the idea of MPAs, their percep- Most fishers at both study sites opted for a community- tions (and possibly younger fishers’ also) may become more based management approach of MPAs. The village chief at the negative once implementation of an MPA occurs. Age did not Cambodia site mentioned that villagers would like to be influence Filipino fishers’ perceptions of MPAs, although the involved in MPA planning and maintenance, and that the local small sample size means that it cannot be said with confi- police would be willing to monitor an MPA using their boat dence that age did not affect fishers’ views towards MPAs. and fuel. The CCC expedition leader and project scientist in Cambodia thought it might be effective to assign roles to locals Lowe (2010) suggests that static gear fishers are less likely within the village, for example, the village chief being employed to feel the need to be involved in planning procedures of an as a fisheries officer. As described by Alcala and Russ (2006), MPA designed for conservation purposes if they do not feel time and effort must be spent to educate locals in conservation their gear has detrimental effects on the environment. Static and management if an effective community-based manage- gear users in Cambodia may have been less eager to be ment plan is to be achieved, and locals must feel a sense of involved in MPA planning if they felt their gear did little or no responsibility by being given the opportunity to be involved in damage to the marine environment. Blythe et al. (2002) found MPA management (Gelcich, Godoy and Castilla, 2009). In the that fishers (from both mobile and static gear sectors) viewed Philippines, some CCC staff members were locals from the vil- protected areas where only static gear users were allowed to lage who allowed them to have an active part in the manage- operate as a way of reducing conflict between fishers. Areas ment and conservation of marine resources in the area. In like this may exist in the MPA proposed around Koh Rong, as Cambodia, the village chief stated that if a non-governmental it is likely to have different zones with varying levels of protec- organization (NGO) implemented an MPA, the locals would tion. It was mentioned by some Cambodian fishers that larger happily be involved in its management; this meets the criteria boats, often foreign, operated in shallow waters and caused for successful community-based management suggested by conflict with those with smaller boats; perhaps this was the Pollnac, Crawford and Gorospe (2001), who recommend reason why so many mobile gear users were willing to be involvement of the local community and long-term communi- involved in the planning and management of MPAs, as they cation with an organization that implemented the MPA (CCC were keen for measures that restricted the entry of larger fish- in this case). Regarding management, fishers’ main concerns ing vessels from elsewhere. are often sustainable fisheries, whereas other stakeholders may be more concerned about conservation of ecosystems (Mangi Russ, Alcala and Maypa (2003) state that local fishers and Austen, 2008), so it is important that each view is care- around an MPA in the Philippines associate it with improve- fully considered to minimize conflicts between stakeholders. ments in their catch sizes, and Alcala and Russ (2006) show that the same MPA has been successful due to management input by the locals. Alcala and Russ (2006) argue that local Conclusion fishing communities must participate in management for an MPA to be successful, maximizing fishers’ positive percep- Similarities and differences were found between fishers’ tions of the returns they gain from the MPA; however, this responses from each study site. The high levels of acceptance study showed no correlation between fishers’ involvement in towards MPAs found in this study were encouraging at both management and their perceptions of changes in the state of study sites. In Cambodia, there was evidence of support for resources (results may have been more clear with larger sam- MPAs from fishers, even though the MPA around Koh Rong 13 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 was still at an early planning stage which shows that fishers been unsuccessful could also be investigated to shed light on with little or no knowledge of MPAs can still support them as aspects that can make the management strategy less effective a conservation management strategy (even if they feel their and any reasons for this. fishing activity will not be affected). The positive opinions Filipino fishers had towards their village MPA continued to Acknowledgements remain high when compared with findings by Chaigneau (2008) who conducted similar surveys with fishers in the same First, I would like to thank Beth Scott and Cristina Pita for village. Although Filipino fishers had mixed views towards their continuous support throughout the entire project. I some aspects of their village MPA (such as causing conflict), would also like to thank all the Coral Cay Conservation the general impression was that fishers had accepted it and (CCC) staff for their help: Jan-Willem Van Bochove and the perceived the benefits they had received from it in the past, rest of the head office team in London, and also the staff on- however any issues that fishers felt had arisen due to the MPA site in Cambodia and the Philippines. A large amount of help should not be ignored. Community-based management of was received from CCC, whether it was providing data, MPAs was favoured at both study sites; effective management advice and papers, or support in the field and making the with local involvement is important in both countries for opti- whole expedition an enjoyable experience. Planning my mal success and acceptance of MPAs, and community-based project was also helped by Toby Eastoe, of Fauna & Flora management may be the method favoured by small, artisanal International. Thanks to those who took time to give fishing communities in other areas. Agardy (2000) states that interviews, and of course to all the fishers for completing the the implementation of an MPA is when data collection and questionnaires in a patient and friendly manner. Enormous management begin, therefore it is crucial that MPAs are thanks go to all the locals who acted as translators – the appropriately monitored and management is adapted accord- project would not have been possible without them. In ingly. As seen in this study, fishers’ perceptions of MPAs are Cambodia, these were staff at Monkey Island Beach Resort: subject to change depending on their previous experiences; Bun Te, Song Chin, Chhin Chan Lee, Man Pheak Ney and therefore, work of this sort is an ongoing process that should Bun Youthy.Also, Kanha from the Dive Shop Cambodia be carried out before MPAs are implemented and throughout translated the questionnaire. Jesselou Tinapay, Dag their existence to gauge the support they receive from local Navarrete, Jasper Aguilo and Lovely Aguilo translated in the communities. Future work could include studies with larger Philippines. sample sizes, to investigate Cambodian fishers’ opinions fur - ther, for example, why some fishers feel MPAs will not affect them. Once an MPA is implemented around Koh Rong, an Author Biography investigation into Cambodian fishers’ opinions and accep- tance of MPAs could be conducted to see whether they change The author studied BSc marine biology at the University of significantly compared to the findings in this study. Further Aberdeen and has a particular interest in tropical coral reef work in the Philippines should be carried out to investigate ecosystems. This manuscript is in regard to the human side possible reasons for the conflicts perceived in this study, and of tropical fisheries and conservation around coral reef to generally monitor fishers’ perceptions. This study concerns areas, however, interests for the future include hopes to two areas where support for MPAs is relatively high, before work further on the conservation and ecological side of coral and after implementation; however, areas where MPAs have reefs. 14 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Appendix 1 Questionnaire used in Cambodia. 15 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 16 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Questionnaire used in the Philippines. 17 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 18 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Appendix 2 Extra data analysis. Table A1. Fishers’ opinions from responses gathered about MPAs Statistical test results Statement Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Age (year) Gear operated Age (year) Fish sanctuaries increase the number of fish caught outside/around them t = 0.8, P = 0.455 P = 0.406 t = 0.1, P = 0.884 Fish sanctuaries increase the different types of fish in the area t = 1.3, P = 0.194 P = 0.667 t = 0.4, P = 0.713 Reefs and seagrass are important for fishing to be successful t = 0.7, P = 0.510 P = 0.008 t = −1.2, P = 0.232 Coral reefs/seagrass beds are important only for fish to shelter t = 0.3, P = 0.762 P = 0.130 – Fish sanctuaries strongly impact fishing t = −1.6, P = 0.111 P = 0.010 t = 0.3, P = 0.802 Fish sanctuaries increase conflicts between fishers – – t = 1.5, P = 0.141 Fish sanctuaries benefit only neighbouring coastal waters/barangays t = 0.3, P = 0.793 P = 0.026 t = 1.0, P = 0.325 Any new fish sanctuaries will result in conflicts in the community t = 0.1, P = 0.932 P = 1.000 t < 0.1, P = 0.987 Significant differences between selected variables were tested for each country (independent sample t-tests for interval normal age data and Fisher’s exact test for categorical data) and the appropriate statistical values presented, with P-values. Significant P-values are shown in bold. Responses measured on a five-point Likert-scale were reduced to a categorical variable of just ‘Agree’ (=1) and ‘Other’ (=0). b 2 Categories were mobile (=1) and static (=0) for gear-operated data. Fisher’s exact test was used as data did not meet the assumptions of the χ test. ‘Gear operated’ was not tested for data from the Philippines as all Filipino fishers used static gear. Table A2. Fishers’ opinions about MPA planning and management Variables Statistical test results Cambodia (n = 29) Philippines (n = 20) Sanctuary development plans Age (year) t = 3.4, P = 0.002 t = 0.8, P = 0.454 Mobile/static gear χ2 = 0.1, P = 0.774 – operated Like to be involved in MPA planning Age (year) t = 2.9, P = 0.007 t = −0.9, P = 0.391 Mobile/static gear χ2 = 10.2, P = 0.001 – operated Type of management Age (year) t = 0.7, P = 0.491 t = −0.9, P = 0.393 Independent sample t-tests were used for interval normal age data and χ tests for categorical data. 19 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Appendix 3 Plagiarism disclaimer. 20 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Appendix 4 Risk Assessment. 21 Research article Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 22 Bioscience Horizons • Volume 5 2012 Research article Dimech, M., Darmanin, M., Smith, I. P. et al. 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Journal

Bioscience HorizonsOxford University Press

Published: Oct 17, 2012

Keywords: marine protected areas artisanal fishery management tropical fisheries acceptance

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