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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:A Sea Change on the African Coast? Preliminary social and ecological outcomes of a governance transformation in Kenyan fisheries
Authors:Cinner, J.E.
McClanahan, T.R.
Year:2015
Periodical:Global Environmental Change
Issue:30
Pages:133-139
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:Environment
Subjects:Fisheries
Participation - community
Environment - management
Abstract:We examined social and ecological outcomes over a period of transformational change in the governance of Kenyan fisheries. Devolving decision-making power to local communities initially promoted a perception of winners and losers among resource users, but after just 6 years, there were virtually no resource users who felt that the new governance arrangement was detrimental to their livelihood. The current lack of negative perceptions toward co-management provides a critical window of opportunity to strengthen local governance institutions by investing in leadership capacity, transparency, and enforcement. This newly acquired authority to capture the benefits from local management resulted in an unexpected proliferation of community-based marine reserves - a substantial change to the anti-reserve discourse that halted the government's most recent attempt to establish a national marine reserve. Several community-based reserves showed increases in fish biomass and coral cover, while others did not and likely suffered from poor compliance and weak management. Despite some seemingly positive early social and ecological outcomes, co-management should not be viewed as a panacea to Kenya's fisheries challenges, but rather as one of many tools for improving the chances of achieving social-ecological sustainability. (Journal Abstract)
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