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EMPAFISH

01/01/2005 - 31/12/2008

EMPAFISH
Marine Protected Areas as tools for Fisheries management and conservation

To investigate the potential of different regimes of MPAs in Europe as measures to protect sensitive and endangered species, habitats and ecosystems from the effects of fishing

To develop quantitative methods to assess the effects of marine protected areas

To provide EU with a set of integrated measures and policy proposals for the implementation of MPAs as fisheries and ecosystem management tools

List of Partners

  • Universidad de Murcia
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Instituto de Ciencias del Mar
  • Centro Oceanográfico de Baleares
  • IMC
  • IAMC - CNR
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Universidad de Alicante
  • Universidad de la Laguna
  • Universidade dos Açores
  • Università degli Studi di Palermo
  • Université de Bretagne Occidental
  • University of Malta
  • Università di Pisa

Work packages

  1. Ecological effects of MPAs
  2. Fishery effects of MPAs
  3. Socio-economic impacts of MPAs
  4. Providing and evaluating impact indicators of MPAs
  5. Bioeconomic modelling
  6. Management tools

Tasks

  • Investigate the potential of different regimes of MPAs in Europe as measures to protect sensitive and endangered species, habitats and ecosystems from the effects of fishing.
  • Develop quantitative methods to assess the effects of marine protected areas.
  • Provide EU with a set of integrated measures and policy proposals for the implementation of MPAs as fisheries and ecosystem management tools

Useful outputs for MAIA

Methodological guidebook for socio-economic field survey: methodological guidance on how to carry out socio-economic field surveys in order to assess the economic impact of MPAs


Set of documents with the best indicators in each defined dimension to assess effects of MPAs: Conclusions from this report about choosing parameters to be used as indicators in monitoring:
-Data must be collected at a local sampling level to clearly analyse the effect of protection. For example for the fishing sector, measures of catches should be gathered by boat, by day and with GPS information
- There must be a consensus between managers and stakeholders to define which parameters should be measured. This must be done using participatory processes taking all stakeholders into account.
- State and impact data obtained in academic and scientific contexts must be provided to a managers, policy makers and stakeholders; this will help to resolve the conflict between managers and scientists to increase the effectiveness of the assessment of protection by MPAs.


Booklet defining suitable methodologies to collect and analyze indicators, and suitable experimental designs to test different situations on MPAs
- This booklet recommends robust protocols for data collection to assess the effects of MPAs.
Some conclusions from the study:
- Preliminary sampling is essential to the success of experiments in order to estimate the cost-benefit of a particular sampling effort, determine the power analysis and gain understating of the temporal and spatial scales of variability of the selected experimental unit
- Temporal and spatial pseudoreplication must be avoided.


Set of documents with recommendations on management strategies applicable in MPAs: Useful document providing a set of recommendations on which to base a European strategy for MPA management


Manual including guidelines for MPA management.: Main recommendations
- Marine protected areas in southern Europe should have a no-take area so as to meet the objectives of marine protection. Having such a zone will improve the conservation and fisheries goals of marine protection.
- There is a need for more socio-economic studies to quantify the costs and benefits to fishers of establishing MPAs in southern Europe.
- There is a need for increased dialogue between scientists, managers and fishers to reduce the disparity in understanding the fisheries benefits of marine protection between these groups.


Decision Support System
- used a multi-criteria analysis to rank MPA management options on the basis of ecological, fisheries, socio-economic and stakeholder values. The analysis shows that fisheries benefits from MPAs are maximised by having fully protected zones that are larger than the surrounding buffer zones.
- The system should help users to make decisions on the management of MPA and lead to improvements in the design and selection of such areas.


Stakeholder Workshop report: Main outcomes of this study:
- Despite the lack of a strong similarity in perceptions regarding the establishment of MPAs in the Mediterranean region, the management of these protected areas has been successful for enhancement of fish biomass. This suggests that shared attitudes are not essential to achieve the benefits of area management, although they are likely to improve compliance and reduce the costs of enforcement.
- In this study fishers? attitudes might be more supportive toward protected area management if they had greater recognition of the fisheries benefits of such areas. There is a need for greater communication between scientists, managers and fishers to improve the disparity in understanding the fisheries benefits of marine protection between these groups.
- One method to obtain stakeholder input is to conduct structured and informal interviews to understand where a diverse group of stakeholders? preferences for management lie; this may provide a viable way of addressing stakeholder concerns raised by the establishment of MPAs.


Interactive web based tool: interactive stakeholder website within the EMPAFISH webpage

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