The potential of artificial reefs as fisheries management tools in developing countries
Abstract:There is a growing need for international cooperation among developing countries in order to increase the contribution of artificial reefs to reverse the trend of fisheries resource depletion. To establish desirable directions for future cooperation in this field, we analyzed three recent artificial reef projects in the Philippines and Senegal. Past experience has begun to teach us that artificial reef deployment alone does not produce clear, positive effects in enhancing fisheries resources, but rather leads to the opposite effect of attracting fishing activities in protected areas. As poverty among fishermen lies behind this problem, it is imperative to include economic activities, such as commercialization of highly valued fish in artificial reef projects. Income from such activities can be used to compensate for the decline of income due to reduction of catch and to raise funds for sustainable surveillance of undesirable fishing practices on the artificial reefs. Furthermore, artificial reef projects must be integrated in a broader fisheries management plan in order to be effective. Unless the positive impacts of artificial reefs are clearly established, they should not be overestimated. While a participatory approach is desirable for an artificial reef project, the ideal outcome should be co-management by fishing communities and the government.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2006-01-01
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