Targeted education reduces marine protected area boundary encroachments: a case study from the Florida Keys. Renchen, G., F. & Matthews, T., R. In Bulletin of Marine Science, volume 94, pages 1201-1214, 7, 2018. Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
Targeted education reduces marine protected area boundary encroachments: a case study from the Florida Keys [pdf]Paper  abstract   bibtex   
—Compliance with marine protected area (MPA) regulations is considered a primary determinant of MPA success, though few studies have directly quantified this. The Florida Keys (USA) contain several types of MPAs that are managed by multiple state and federal agencies. The present study evaluated the use of lobster traps, relative to control areas, in two types of MPAs that protect coral reef habitat and prohibit lobster trap fishing: MPAs with marked boundaries vs MPAs with unmarked boundaries. The number of traps, trap owners, and trap location coordinates were recorded in replicate MPAs before and after an educational outreach effort to promote better recognition of trap fishing regulations in MPAs. The mean density of traps (number of traps km−2) was greatest in unmarked MPAs during both pre- [40.5 (SE 7.1) traps] and posteducation [23.9 (SE 4.5) traps] surveys; however, the reduction in trap density was not significant. Traps observed in unmarked MPAs were typically distributed throughout each area. In contrast, the density of traps in marked MPAs pre- [5.4 (SE 1.47) traps] and posteducation [1.3 (SE 0.6) traps] was significantly different, and traps were mostly concentrated near MPA boundaries. The density of trap owners posteducation was reduced in both marked and unmarked MPAs; however, the reduction was only significant in marked MPAs [2.1 (SE 0.5) to 0.6 (SE 0.3)]. The results of the this research highlight the critical roles of communication and fisher behavior in the management of MPA compliance and performance. © 2018 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami

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