Edinburgh Research Explorer

Community Based Aquaculture as a Catalyst for Locally Managed Marine Areas

Project: University Awarded Project Funding

Description

Traditional small-scale fisheries are fundamental to the livelihoods and food security of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Yet marine ecosystems and the coastal fisheries and ecosystem services they support are facing unprecedented pressures. With soaring demand for seafood, there is a critical need to diversify coastal livelihoods to reduce pressure on wild stock resources, and to catalyse prosperous socio-economic opportunities.

LMMAs are emerging as one of the most promising tools to link marine conservation with local management, providing both access and benefit sharing across a range of key coastal areas. LMMAs have evolved in recent decades to include approaches to co-management ranging from formal governance systems to more customary or traditional practices. However, they all place communities at the heart of planning and rule-setting for their fisheries and the coastal zones they live in.

Despite these promising results, the widespread uptake and effectiveness of LMMAs is under-realised due to continued over-reliance on extractive fishing. For example, in southwest Madagascar, the combination of geographic isolation and arid climate mean there are few economic opportunities beyond fishing, so the opportunity costs involved in establishing no-take zones or other fishing restrictions can be significant barriers to LMMA development.

This project will address this by developing a scalable model for implementation, linking small-scale aquaculture with LMMAs to provide direct benefits for coastal communities and ecosystems.