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Small-Scale Sicilian Fisheries: Opinions of Artisanal Fishers and Sociocultural Effects in Two MPA Case Studies

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Marine resource management and related stakeholder conflicts have been clearly defined in recent decades as pressing issues worldwide. This article provides a comparative study of the management regimes of the Gulf of Castellammare Fishery Reserve and the Egadi Islands Marine Reserve in Sicily, Italy. What managers in these two reserves have neglected to include in management is a social science evaluation scheme to ensure the development of more effective overall management. This is a significant problem in both Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean, where few sociocultural and economic studies have been conducted. Using data collected with standard anthropological field methods, analysis was conducted on how artisanal fishers are impacted by reserves, the extent of their knowledge regarding regulations, their opinions on management, and demographics. The results indicate that while fishers in the two case studies are all aware of the marine reserves where they fish, most fishers are not well informed of the associated regulations. Fishers feel alienated from the management process, and would feel more comfortable with reserve managers and regulations if they were involved in management. The article concludes by showing how such data could help to develop more useful and practical management practices in both these and other MPAs with similar problems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort, North Carolina, USA; and Istituto di ricerca sulle Risorse Marine e l'Ambiente (IRMA), Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy

Publication date: October 1, 2003

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