, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 787–796 | Cite as

Marine protected areas in Costa Rica: How do artisanal fishers respond?

  • Róger Madrigal-BallesteroEmail author
  • Heidi J. Albers
  • Tabaré Capitán
  • Ariana Salas


Costa Rica is considering expanding their marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve marine resources. Due to the importance of households’ responses to an MPA in defining the MPA’s ecological and economic outcomes, this paper uses an economic decision framework to interpret data from near-MPA household surveys to inform this policy discussion. The model and data suggest that the impact of expanding MPAs relies on levels of enforcement and on-shore wages. If larger near-shore MPAs can produce high wages through increased tourism, MPA expansions could provide ecological benefits with low burdens to communities. Due to distance costs and gear investments, however, MPAs farther off-shore may place high burdens on off-shore fishers.


Enforcement Marine reserves No-take zones Perceptions Tourism 



Economic support from the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation (SIDA) to the Environment for Development (EfD) initiative is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics and Environment for Development (EEfD)CATIETurrialbaCosta Rica
  2. 2.Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of EconomicsUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA
  3. 3.Department of Economics and FinanceUniversity of WyomingLaramieUSA

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