In this paper, we examine the role of gender in community-based management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Central Philippines. MPAs are a common conservation and fisheries management tool in this area, but the relationship between gendered fishing practices and participatory MPA management is rarely considered. In this region, women and men’s fishing practices are often socially and ecologically distinct. MPAs are found in both intertidal and subtidal areas where women and men tend to fish respectively. Based on over 500 interviews in 12 fishing communities, MPAs were largely perceived to be a management tool for men’s fishing. Very few men and women reported a negative effect on their personal fishing or displacement from their fishing area. However, in two communities MPAs that had been in intertidal areas had either been moved or opened specifically to allow for gleaning. Women were less likely than men to report that the MPA had a positive effect on their fishing, but women and men recommended the MPA in equal numbers. Women and men reported attending MPA meetings, but women were less likely to describe active participation in MPA management such as decision making. This research adds to the larger body of work that considers gender and inequality to critically examine issues of power and exclusion in community-based resource management.
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We interviewed people that had fished (including gleaning) in the past year, but local definitions of fishing, and occupational definitions of fishermen often exclude gleaning and women.
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D.K. received funding for this project from the World Wildlife Fund, The University of British Columbia Liu Institute, and the International Federation of University Women. This project also benefited from support by Guylian Chocolates Belgium and an anonymous donor through their partnerships for marine conservation with Project Seahorse.
Conflicts of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
This paper belongs to Topical Collection (En)Gendering Change in Small-scale Fisheries and Fishing Communities in a Globalized World
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Kleiber, D., Harris, L. & Vincent, A.C.J. Gender and marine protected areas: a case study of Danajon Bank, Philippines. Maritime Studies 17, 163–175 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40152-018-0107-7
- Marine protected areas
- Small-scale fisheries
- Community-based management