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Local Expectations for Future Marine Protected Area Performance: A Case Study of the Proposed National Marine Conservation Area in the Southern Strait of Georgia, Canada

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National marine conservation areas (NMCA) are a type of marine protected area designated and managed by Parks Canada. Before establishment, the agency undertakes a feasibility study involving public feedback on the proposal, however there is no systematic analysis done on this feedback. This article provides such analysis for a proposed NMCA in southern British Columbia using the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) management evaluation effectiveness framework to determine potential performance indicators identified by the public. This data source was supplemented by a survey questionnaire distributed to the main groups invited to the feasibility workshops. Performance indicators were identified for all stages of the management cycle; however, most expected performance indicators fell into NMCA outcomes and planning performance. The most frequently expected outcomes are biophysical ones with reduced water pollution being the most frequently cited. Other often cited outcomes are an increase in fish resources and marine mammals. Ironically all these outcomes are very vulnerable to influences outside the boundaries of the NMCA and suggest the need to embed the NMCA in a wider coastal management strategy.

Keywords: Canada; local expectations; marine protected area; performance indicators

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Geography,University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 2: Department of Geography,University of Victoria, Victoria,BC, Canada

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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