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Economic development, marine protected areas and gendered access to fishing resources in a Polynesian lagoon

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This study examines the potential socio-spatial impacts of a new series of marine protected areas (MPAs) on fishers in Moorea, French Polynesia. The establishment of the MPAs is contextualized within recent and historical processes of economic development and theories of women in development and gender, culture and development. Seventy adults from three neighborhoods in Moorea were interviewed. Analysis of the data provides new information about the characteristics of fishing in Moorea. Unlike most fishing cultures and communities throughout the Pacific Islands, men and women in Moorea have similar, as opposed to segregated, spatial patterns of fishing activities and fishing methods. The study also points out the potential negative impacts of the MPAs on both men and women, particularly younger and lower-income fishers.

Keywords: GIS; fishing; gender; marine protected areas; political ecology

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09663690903003983

Affiliations: 1: Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA 2: Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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