, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 305–313 | Cite as

The Links Between Resource Dependency and Attitude of Commercial Fishers to Coral Reef Conservation in the Red Sea

  • Nadine A. Marshall
  • Paul A. Marshall
  • Ameer Abdulla
  • Tony Rouphael


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.


Human dimensions Social resilience Attitudes Resource dependency Compliance Marine protected areas 



Funding for this project was gratefully received from the IUCN Global Marine Programme. The authors are sincerely appreciative of the dedicated field efforts of Salwa El Halawany and to the 44 commercial fishers who generously gave their time. Our sincere thanks are also extended to John Grainger, Sherif Baha el Din, Mr. Amgad Ali El Shaffai, Mr. Mohamed Negm, Mr. Mohamed Bissard and other rangers from the Red Sea Protectorate and Dr. Moustafa Fouda. We are especially indebted to Alistair Hobday, Sean Pascoe, Mark Howden and Marcus Lane who provided comments on earlier versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadine A. Marshall
    • 1
  • Paul A. Marshall
    • 2
    • 4
  • Ameer Abdulla
    • 3
  • Tony Rouphael
    • 4
  1. 1.CSIRO, Sustainable Ecosystems and Climate Adaptation FlagshipTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Great Barrier Reef Marine Park AuthorityTownsvilleAustralia
  3. 3.IUCN Marine Biodiversity and Conservation ScienceMalagaSpain
  4. 4.IUCN Marine Biodiversity and Conservation SciencePerthAustralia

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