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TABLE 6-1 Summary of Social and Economic Criteria Used to Select Marine Protected Area and Reserve Locations

Value Type



Number of fishers dependent on the area

Value for tourism

Potential contribution of protection to enhance or maintain economic value


Ease of access

Maintenance of traditional fishing methods

Presence of cultural artifacts or wrecks

Heritage value

Recreational value

Educational value

Aesthetic appeal


Amount of previous scientific work

Regularity of survey or monitoring work

Presence of current research project

Educational value

Feasibility or Practicality

Social and political acceptability

Accessibility for education and tourism

Compatibility with existing uses

Ease of management


SOURCE: Adapted from Roberts et al, in review b.

successful implementation (see Chapter 4), but a balance between social concerns and biological function must be achieved. What methods are available for selecting functional reserves that meet these social and ecological criteria?

Kelleher (1999), building on previous work of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN, now the World Conservation Union), provided broad guidelines for selecting MPA sites, drawn from experience in the selection of terrestrial protected areas. He identified several classes of related criteria that bear on choice of a site: biogeographic and ecological criteria; naturalness; economic, social, and scientific importance; international or national significance; practicality or feasibility; and duality or replication. However, these guidelines neither offer guidance on how to prioritize these criteria nor provide advice on how to rank candidate sites according to each criterion.

This approach has been elaborated in recent papers (e.g., Salm and Price, 1995; Nilsson, 1998; Agardy, 1997). A summary of these criteria is provided in Table 6-1. All of these efforts focus on the problem of selecting individual marine reserves, but there is a growing awareness that this piecemeal approach to reserve establishment ultimately may fail to protect species and functional ecosystems. The implication derived from the broad dispersal capabilities and

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