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Where agencies feared to tread: Incorporating fishermen’s knowledge into California MPA planning
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Where agencies feared to tread: Incorporating fishermen’s knowledge into California MPA planning

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  • 1. Where agencies feared to tread: Coastal Zone 2007 Portland, OR, 25 July 2007 Astrid Scholz Incorporating fishermen’s knowledge into California MPA planning
  • 2. Outline
    • Project background
    • What’s at stake?
    • Project design, methods, and results
    • Use in evaluation of MPA alternatives
    • Lessons learned
  • 3. Project Background
    • The 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) mandated that the state design and manage an improved network of marine protected areas to, among other things, protect marine life and habitats, marine ecosystems, and marine natural heritage. Marine protected areas include marine reserves, marine parks and marine conservation areas.
    • The MLPA Initiative is a public-private partnership designed to help the State of California implement the Marine Life Protection Act, using the best readily available science as well as the advice and assistance of scientists, resource managers, experts, stakeholders and members of the public.
    Source: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/MRD/mlpa/
  • 4. Project Background – 2
    • Ecotrust Consulting Initiatives retained by MLPAI
    • Characterize extent and relative importance of Central Coast commercial fishing grounds
      • Especially those not adequately described spatially or by logbooks.
    • Based on previous work:
      • Pilot study with PCFFA and Environmental Defense in 2001;
      • Extended study with CBNMS and GFNMS joint fishing working group, 2004-05
  • 5. What’s at stake?
    • One of the major activities being regulated by MPAs are commercial and recreational fisheries
    • Better, more accurate information makes for better, more durable policy decisions
      • The best, readily available science: Before and After our project
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8. Project Design
    • Participatory GIS surveys
      • Use computer based map interface to administer survey
      • Conduct follow-up individual and group verification meetings
      • Worked with fleet to ensure confidentiality of any publicly displayed information
    • Sampling strategy
      • Sampling was meant to be representative of local fleets
      • Sampling criteria, select for 50% or more of each fishery in two subregions
  • 9. Interviews with Fishermen
    • Sample of 218 fishermen, interviewed 108
      • Problems: timing, no contact info, no response, not interested, Vietnamese fleet
    • Each interviewee was asked to:
      • identify, within their maximum forage area for a specific fishery and which areas are of critical economic importance.
      • rank these areas using a weighted percentage; this was done through an imaginary “bag of 100 pennies” that they distributed over the fishing grounds
      • Additional information (e.g. years experience, homeport)
  • 10.  
  • 11. Results
    • Interviews and subsequent analysis yielded detailed maps of the extent and relative importance of the fishing grounds for each fishery.
    • Can’t show you those!
    • We used these maps to analyze the first order impacts of proposed MPA network alternatives.
    • Reported on fishing grounds “lost”, both in terms of area and stated importance. Also formed the basis for socioeconomic impact analysis.
      • www.dfg.ca.gov/MRD/mlpa/centralcoast.html
  • 12. Results – 2: Number of Fisheries
  • 13. Results – 3: Important fishing grounds
  • 14. Lessons Learned
    • Timing
    • Scale
    • Quality assurance and quality control
      • Confidentiality
      • Data verification
    • Improving the sample – “Vietnamese Fleet”
    • Further analysis – limited use
  • 15. Next steps
    • Currently conducting fieldwork for next phase of MLPA implementation in North Central region
    • In final phases of designing a project with the recreational fishing community, also in North Central region
    • Working with partner organizations in further applications of OceanMAp interface and survey
  • 16. Questions?
    • For more information, see www.ecotrust.org/mlpa
    • And those web sites again:
      • www.dfg.ca.gov/MRD/mlpa/
      • www.dfg.ca.gov/MRD/mlpa/centralcoast.html