Human Ecology

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 185–197 | Cite as

What Stakeholders Think About Marine Protected Areas: Case Studies from Spain

  • Svein JentoftEmail author
  • Jose J. Pascual-Fernandez
  • Raquel De la Cruz Modino
  • Manuel Gonzalez-Ramallal
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee


Marine protected areas (MPAs) are often met with reluctance by affected stakeholders, and in some instances outright objection. Some argue that this is due to insufficient understanding of the functions of MPAs. Others suggest that it could be because of a perception that they are losing more than they are gaining. It is also possible that stakeholders are generally supportive of the idea but think that the MPA should be located elsewhere. We argue that it is images people have about what the MPA is and does that determine how they react. Drawing from three MPA case studies in Spain, we illustrate the importance of critical examination of stakeholders’ images and what they imply for the governance of MPAs.


Marine protected areas Interactive governance Governability Images Small-scale fisheries Spain 



This research is part of the project “Governability analysis applied to the creation process of Marine Protected Areas (GOBAMP, CSO2009-09802)” supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain and the European Regional Development Fund. We acknowledge the collaboration of the Network of Marine Reserves of the General Secretary of the Sea, Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs of Spain. We are grateful for the comments provided by Alberto Brito (University of La Laguna) and Carmelo Dorta, and by Antonio García Allut from Fundación Lonxanet para la Pesca Sostenible ( and the University of A Coruña. We would also like to thank the rest of the GOBAMP project team for their collaboration. Our thanks also go to Alberto Jonay Rodríguez Darias for drawing up the map of the protected areas, and to Kim Eddy for the English editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Svein Jentoft
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jose J. Pascual-Fernandez
    • 2
  • Raquel De la Cruz Modino
    • 2
  • Manuel Gonzalez-Ramallal
    • 2
  • Ratana Chuenpagdee
    • 3
  1. 1.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of La LagunaTenerifeSpain
  3. 3.Department of GeographyMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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