You are here

Incorporation of spatial and economic analyses of human-use data in the design of marine protected areas

TitleIncorporation of spatial and economic analyses of human-use data in the design of marine protected areas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsScholz, A, Steinback, C, Kruse, SE, Mertens, M, Silverman, H
JournalCons. Biol.Cons. Biol.Cons. Biol.
KeywordsBOEM, coastal and marine spatial planning, community-based fisheries management, geographic information, GIS and oceanography, systems, local knowledge, participatory GIS, participatory spatial planning

Social, economic, and ecological criteria contribute to the successful design, implementation, and
management of marine protected areas (MPAs). In the context of California’s Marine Life Protection Act
Initiative, we developed a set of methods for collecting, compiling, and analyzing data about the spatial extent
and relative economic importance of commercial and recreational fishing. We interviewed 174 commercial
fishers who represented the major fisheries in the initiative’s north-central coast region, which extends from
Point Arena south to Pigeon Point. These fishers provided data that we used to map the extent of each of the
fishing grounds, to weight the relative importance of areas within the grounds, to characterize the operating
costs of each fishery, and to analyze the potential economic losses associated with proposed marine protected
areas. A regional stakeholder group used the maps and impact analyses in conjunction with other data sets to
iteratively identify economic and ecological trade-offs in designations of different areas as MPAs at regional,
port, and fishery extents. Their final proposed MPA network designated 20% of state waters as MPAs. Potential
net economic loss ranged from 1.7% to 14.2% in the first round of network design and totaled 6.3% in the final
round of design. This process is a case study in the application of spatial analysis to validate and integrate
local stakeholder knowledge in marine planning.

Short TitleConservation BiologyConservation Biology
Alternate JournalConservation Biology