The Links Between Resource Dependency and Attitude of Commercial Fishers to Coral Reef Conservation in the Red Sea
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The imperative to further constrain extractive uses of natural resources will strengthen as resources degrade through over-use or exposure to climate changes. Here, we explore an approach to increase the support for marine conservation among coral reef fishers. We explore the proposition that resource dependency in the Egyptian Red Sea can act as a barrier to conservation. We administered face-to-face surveys to 49% of the fishing industry to: (i) identify the level of compliance to the local marine protected area (MPA), (ii) assess the level of dependency on marine resources in the region and (iii) examine the relationship between resource dependency and conservation attitudes. Only 11.4% of fishers were aware of the MPA. Fishers were mostly limited in their social flexibility and livelihood options. Results suggest that resource dependency is highly and negatively correlated with conservation attitudes suggesting that management efforts need to seriously focus on reducing dependency if conservation goals are to be met.