[Coral-List] Questions from the coal face

chris at oceanswatch.org chris at oceanswatch.org
Tue Dec 23 15:29:32 EST 2008

We at www.oceanswatch.org are in the business of empowering local communities to manage their marine resources to ensure a sustainable protein supply into the future. We do this through education, encouragement and by providing resources such as equipment that allows them to do their own monitoring.

We work with communities in developing countries and our end goal is to establish small marine reserves as well as putting in place other management practices to protect the ecosystem. All the areas where we work are within the tropics so have reef systems.

I am NOT an academic, nor can OceansWatch afford to employ one. I occasionally have questions that need academic input so I hope that the List will be happy for me to post these here. Thank you.

Ok first question :)  We work at village level. Typically a village might control from just 1/2 a mile to a few miles of coastline and reef. The villages are very autonomous. With such a small area available within which to establish a reserve (Tabu area) the question that keeps arising for me is "what's the smallest area that's worth protecting" The area has to be small enough that the village will not be under too much pressure due to the decrease in available fishing area yet big enough to have a measurable effect within 2-5 years. Can someone please direct me at some on-line resources that address this question?

Thank you,

Chris Bone

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