Skip to main content

Interpretations of MPA winners and losers: a case study of the Cabo De Palos- Islas Hormigas Fisheries Reserve

Abstract

There is a controversy in the literature on marine protected areas (MPAs) over the way their outcomes are portrayed in terms of winners and losers. On the one hand, many analysts have portrayed MPAs as win-win solutions, resulting in both increased biodiversity and improved livelihoods. On the other hand, some analysts have argued that win-win outcomes are mythical, and in practice, MPAs invariably result in trade-offs between ecological and economic objectives. This study seeks to test which of these two hypotheses fits the Cabo de Palos Islas Hormigas marine protected area (CPH-MPA) in southeast Spain. However, it does so not by analysing directly the tension between the two objectives of ecological and economic goals, but by analysing the tensions between four groups of stakeholders—fishers, divers, community residents, and administrators—which map on to the tension between the two goals. The study is based on 111 interviews of key informants conducted in 2013–2014 to discover the perceptions of stakeholders on the issue of who are the winners and who are the losers as a result of the MPA. The main findings of this study on the CPH-MPA are that winning and losing are very complex and ambiguous categories; that there is no objective way of determining who are winners or losers; that the situation of winners and losers is due to human intervention rather than a natural and inevitable process; that win-win outcomes are implausible because trade-offs between wins and losses are inevitable; and that political authorities have to decide who will be the winners and who will be the losers.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Abecasis, R.C., L. Schmidt, N. Longnecker, and Julian Clifton. 2013. Implications of community and stakeholder perceptions of the marine environment and its conservation for MPA management in a small Azorean island. Ocean Coast Manag 84: 208–219.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bennett, Nathan James. 2016. Use of perceptions to improve conservation and environmental management. Conserv Biol 30: 582–592.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bennett, Nathan James, and Philip Dearden. 2014. Why local people do not support conservation: Community perceptions of marine protected area livelihood impacts, governance and management in Thailand. Mar Policy 44: 107–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. BOE. 2010. Boletín oficial del estado, Ministero de Medio Ambiente, y Medio Rural y Marino, http://www.boe.es . 3823.

  5. BORM. 2014. Orden de 4 de junio de 2014, de la Consejería de Agricultura y Agua, por la que se regula el ejercicio de las actividades subacuáticas en aguas interiores de la reserva Marina de Cabo de Palos-Islas Hormigas. 133. Boletin Oficial de la Región de Murcia, www.borm.es.

  6. Breslow, Sara Jo, Margaret Allen, Danielle Holstein, Brit Sojka, Raz Barnea, Xavier Basurto, Courtney Carothers, et al. 2018. Evaluating indicators of human well-being for ecosystem-based management. Ecosyst Health Sustain 3. Taylor & Francis: 1–18. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/20964129.2017.1411767.

  7. Bryman, Alan. 2012. Social research methods. 4th ed. NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Calvín-Calvo, J.C., I. Franco, A. Marín, and A. Martínez. 1998. El litoral sumergido de la Región de Murcia. Dirección General del Medio Natural. Murcia Region: Comunidad Autónoma de la Región de Murcia.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Campbell, Lisa M., and Arja Vainio-Mattila. 2003. Participatory development and community-based conservation: Opportunities missed for lessons learned? Hum Ecol 31: 417–437. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025071822388.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chaigneau, T., and Katrina Brown. 2016. Challenging the win-win discourse on conservation and development: Analyzing support for marine protected areas. Ecol Soc 21: art36. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08204-210136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Cheung, W.W.L., and U.R. Sumaila. 2008. Trade-offs between conservation and socio-economic objectives in managing a tropical marine ecosystem. Ecol Econ 66: 193–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Christie, P. 2004. Marine protected areas as biological successes and social failures in Southeast Asia. Am Fish Soc Symp 42: 155–164.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Davies, Tammy E., Graham Epstein, Stacy E. Aguilera, Cassandra M. Brooks, Michael Cox, Louisa S. Evans, Sara M. Maxwell, Mateja Nenadovic, and Natalie C. Ban. 2018. Assessing trade-offs in large marine protected areas. PLoS One 13: e0195760–e0195714. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0195760.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Daw, Tim, Katrina Brown, Sergio Rosendo, and Robert Pomeroy. 2011. Applying the ecosystem services concept to poverty alleviation: The need to disaggregate human well-being. Environ Conserv 38: 370–379. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892911000506.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Daw, Tim M, Sarah Coulthard, William W L Cheung, Katrina Brown, Caroline Abunge, Diego Galafassi, Garry D Peterson, Tim R McClanahan, Johnstone O Omukoto, and Lydiah Munyi. 2015. Evaluating taboo trade-offs in ecosystems services and human well-being. Proc Natl Acad Sci 112(22)6949–6954. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1414900112.

  16. Di Franco, Antonio, Pierre Thiriet, Giuseppe Di Carlo, Charalampos Dimitriadis, Patrice Francour, Nicolás L. Gutiérrez, Alain Jeudy de Grissac, et al. 2016. Five key attributes can increase marine protected areas performance for small-scale fisheries management. Sci Rep 6: 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep38135.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Dimech, Mark, Darmanin Michael, I. Philip Smith, Michel J. Kaiser, and Patrick J. Schembri. 2009. Fishers’ perception of a 35-year old exclusive Fisheries Management Zone. Biol Conserv 142: 2691–2702.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Dixon, J A World Bank Washington USA, L Fallon Scura, and T van’t Hof. 1993. Meeting ecological and economic goals: Marine parks in the Caribbean. AMBIO 22. Ambio (Sweden): 117–125.

  19. Fabinyi, M. 2008. Dive tourism, fishing and marine protected areas in the Calamianes Islands, Philippines. Mar Policy 32: 898–904.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Felix-Hackradt, F.C., C.W. Hackradt, J. Treviño-Otón, A. Pérez-Ruzafa, and J.A. Garcia-Charton. 2013. Temporal patterns of settlement, recruitment and post-settlement losses in a rocky reef fish assemblage in the South-Western Mediterranean Sea. Mar Biol 160: 2337–2352. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-013-2228-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Flannery, W., G. Ellis, M. Nursey-Bray, J.V. Tatenhove, C. Kelly, S. Coffen-Smout, R. Fairgrieve, et al. 2016. Exploring the winners and losers of marine environmental governance. Plann Theory Pract 17: 121–151.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. García-Charton, Jose Antonio. 2016. Informe sobre el borrador de Orden de la Consejería de Agua, Agricultura y Medio Ambiente, por la que se modifica la Orden de 4 de junio de 2014 que regula el ejercicio de las actividades subacuáticas en aguas interiores de la reserva marina de Cabo de Palos - Islas Hormigas. Grupo de Investigación “Ecología y Conservación Marina” - Depto. Ecología e Hidrología Universidad de Murcia.

  23. García-Charton, Jose Antonio, Angel Perez-Ruzafa, P. Sánchez-Jerez, J.T. Bayle-Sempere, O. Reñones, and D. Moreno. 2004. Multi-scale spatial heterogeneity, habitat structure, and the effect of marine reserves on Western Mediterranean rocky reef fish assemblages. Mar Biol 144: 161–182. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-003-1170-0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Gray, Tim. 2005. Participation in fisheries governance. Berlin: Springer.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  25. Gustavsson, Madeleine, Lars Lindström, Narriman S. Jiddawi, and Maricela de la Torre-Castro. 2014. Procedural and distributive justice in a community-based managed Marine Protected Area in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Mar Policy 46: 91–100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2014.01.005.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Hackradt, Carlos Werner, Jose Antonio García-Charton, Mireille Harmelin-Vivien, Angel Perez-Ruzafa, Laurence Le Direach, Just Bayle-Sempere, Eric Charbonnel, et al. 2014. Response of rocky reef top predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and around marine protected areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea. PLoS One 9: e98206. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0098206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Herrera-Racionero, Paloma, Emmánuel Lizcano-Fernández, and Lluís Miret-Pastor. 2015. “Us” and ‘them’. Fishermen from Gandía and the loss of institutional legitimacy. Mar Policy 54: 130–136.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Hogg, Katie, Pedro Noguera-Méndez, María Semitiel-García, Tim Gray, and Sarah Young. 2017. Controversies over stakeholder participation in marine protected area (MPA) management: A case study of the Cabo de Palos-Islas Hormigas MPA. Ocean Coast Manag 144: 120–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.05.002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Hogg, Katie, María Semitiel-García, Pedro Noguera-Méndez, Tim Gray, and Sarah Young. 2018. Perceptions of threats facing Cabo de Palos - Islas Hormigas MPA and potential solutions. Coast Manag 46: 58–74. https://doi.org/10.1080/08920753.2018.1405330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Jentoft, Svein, Jose J Pascual-Fernández, Raquel de la Cruz Modino, Manuel Gonzalez-Ramallal, and Ratana Chuenpagdee. 2012. What stakeholders think about marine protected areas: case studies from Spain. Hum Ecol 40. Springer: 185–197.

  31. Jones, P. 2014a. Empirical framework for analysing MPA governance approaches. Abingdon: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Jones, P. 2014b. Governing marine protected areas : Resilience through diversity. Oxon: Routledge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  33. Leisher, Craig, Lea M. Scherl, and Pieter van Beukering. 2007. Nature’s Investment Bank. Arlington, Virginia: The Nature Conservancy.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Mascia, Michael. 2004. Social dimensions of marine reserves. In Marine reserves: A guide to science, design and use, ed. J. Sobel and C. Dahlgren, 164. Washington: Island press.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Mascia, Michael, and C. Anne Claus. 2009. A property rights approach to understanding human displacement from protected areas: The case of marine protected areas. Conserv Biol 23: 16–23. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01050.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Mascia, Michael, C. Anne Claus, and Robin Naidoo. 2010. Impacts of marine protected areas on fishing communities. Conserv Biol 24: 1424–1429. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01523.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Mascia, Michael, Helen E. Fox, Louise Glew, Gabby N. Ahmadia, Arun Agrawal, Megan Barnes, Xavier Basurto, et al. 2017. A novel framework for analyzing conservation impacts: Evaluation, theory, and marine protected areas. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1399: 93–115. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13428.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. McShane, Thomas O., and Michael P. Wells. 2004. Getting biodiversity projects to work. New York City: Columbia University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  39. McShane, T.O., P.D. Hirsch, T.C. Trung, A.N. Songorwa, A. Kinzig, B. Monteferri, D. Mutekanga, H.V. Thang, J.L. Dammert, M. Pulgar-Vidal, M. Welch-Devine, J. Peter Brosius, P. Coppolillo, and S. O’Connor. 2011. Hard choices: Making trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Biol Conserv 144: 966–972.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Méndez-Contreras, Jessica, Federico Dickinson, and Teresa Castillo-Burguete. 2007. Community member viewpoints on the Ría Celestún biosphere reserve, Yucatan, Mexico: Suggestions for improving the community/natural protected area relationship. Hum Ecol 36. Springer US: 111–123. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-007-9135-4.

  41. Nielsen, J.R., P. Degnbol, K.K. Viswanathan, and M. Ahmed. 2004. Fisheries co-management—An institutional innovation? Lessons from South East Asia and Southern Africa. Mar Policy 28: 151–160.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. O'Brien, Karen L., and Robin M. Leichenko. 2003. Winners and losers in the context of global change. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 93: 89–103. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8306.93107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Ostrom, E., J. Burger, C.B. Field, and R.B. Norgaard. 1999. Revisiting the commons: Local lessons, global challenges. Science 284: 278–282. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.284.5412.278.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Pascual-Fernández, Jose J. 1999. Participative management of artisanal fisheries in the Canary Islands. In Southern waters issues of management and practice, ed. D. Symes, 66–77. London, Fishing New Books: Blackwell’s Science.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Pomeroy, Robert, and N. Andrew. 2011. Small-scale fisheries management: Frameworks and approaches for the developing world. Wallingford: CAB International.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  46. Pomeroy, Robert, J. Parks, R. Pollnac, T. Campson, E. Genio, C. Marlessy, E. Holle, M. Pido, A. Nissapa, S. Boromthanarat, and N. Thu Hue. 2007. Fish wars: Conflict and collaboration in fisheries management in Southeast Asia. Mar Policy 31: 645–656.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Pretty, Jules. 1995. Participatory learning for sustainable agriculture. World Dev 23: 1247–1263. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(95)00046-F.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. QSR. 2012. NVivo qualitative data analysis software. QSR International Pty Ltd Version 10.

  49. Roberts, Callum M., James A. Bohnsack, Fiona Gell, Julie P. Hawkins, and Renata Goodridge. 2001. Effects of marine reserves on adjacent fisheries. Sci Mag 294: 1920–1923. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.294.5548.1920.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Rossi, V., E. Ser Giacomi, and C. López. 2014. Hydrodynamic provinces and oceanic connectivity from a transport network help designing marine reserves. Geophys Res Lett 41: 2883–2891.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  51. Schoon, M.L., M.D. Robards, Brown Katrina, N. Engle, C.L. Meek, and R. Biggs. 2015. Politics and the resilience of ecosystem services. In Principles for building resilience: sustaining ecosystem services in social-ecological systems, ed. R. Biggs, M. Schlüter, and M.L. Schoon, 32–50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  52. Segi, Shio. 2014. Protecting or pilfering? Neoliberal conservationist marine protected areas in the experience of coastal Granada, the Philippines. Hum Ecol 42: 565–575. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-014-9669-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Slater, Matthew J., Yunus D. Mgaya, and Selina M. Stead. 2014. Perceptions of rule-breaking related to marine ecosystem health. PloS one 9: e89156–e89156. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0089156.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Sumaila, U.R., J. Alder, and H. Keith. 2006. Global scope and economics of illegal fishing. Mar Policy 30: 696–703. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2005.11.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Trenouth, Amy L., Cher Harte, Chloe Paterson de Heer, Kanwaljeet Dewan, Anna Grage, Carmen Primo, and Marnie L. Campbell. 2012. Public perception of marine and coastal protected areas in Tasmania, Australia: Importance, management and hazards. Ocean Coast Manag 67: 19–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Voyer, Michelle, Natalie Gollan, Kate Barclay, and William Gladstone. 2015. “It’s part of me;” understanding the values, images and principles of coastal users and their influence on the social acceptability of MPAs. Mar Policy 52: 93–102.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. West, Paige, James Igoe, and Dan Brockington. 2006. Parks and peoples: The social impact of protected areas. Annu Rev Anthropol 35: 251–277. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.35.081705.123308.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Wynberg, Rachel, and Maria Hauck. 2014. People, power, and the coast: A conceptual framework for understanding and implementing benefit sharing. Ecol Soc 19. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-06250-190127.

  59. Yates, K.L. 2014. View from the wheelhouse: Perceptions on marine management from the fishing community and suggestions for improvement. Mar Policy 48: 39–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment; Ministry of Agriculture and Water of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia; related experts, marine resource users, and community members of Cabo de Palos- Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve for their collaboration. Special thanks go to Irene Rojo Moreno, Samantha Cámara Blas, Sergio Parra San Llorente, Miguel Lorenzi, and Antonio Calò for their assistance with interviews, and transcription, and Carlos Cegarra for translation.

Funding

This study was funded by the FP7 – People - Marie Curie Actions – Initial Training Network for Monitoring Mediterranean Marine Protected Areas (ITN-MMMPA) project, Contract no. 290056. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, preparation of the manuscript, or decision to publish.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

KH was the principal researcher. KH and TG were the lead authors. KH, MS, and PN were responsible for structuring the research and its methodology, SY and TG contributed further by aiding data analysis and interpreting outcomes. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Katie Hogg.

Ethics declarations

Ethics statement

Permission to conduct this study was granted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Environment in Spain, and ethics approval was obtained through submission of an ethics assessment to the University of Murcia Ethical Committee. Participants were informed of the aims of the project, how data would be used, and how they could access the study results. Researchers obtained oral consent from participants before conducting interviews. Personal identifying information was replaced with respondent ID numbers to ensure anonymity.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Hogg, K., Gray, T., Noguera-Méndez, P. et al. Interpretations of MPA winners and losers: a case study of the Cabo De Palos- Islas Hormigas Fisheries Reserve. Maritime Studies 18, 159–171 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40152-019-00134-5

Download citation

Keywords

  • Marine protected area
  • Social impacts
  • Win-win
  • Winners
  • Losers