Elements for Building a Participatory, Ecosystem-Based Marine Reserve Network

Heyman, William D. (2011) Elements for Building a Participatory, Ecosystem-Based Marine Reserve Network. The Professional Geographer, 63 (4). pp. 1-14.

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    This article offers a case study of the process involved in the development of a national network of marine reserves to protect multispecies reef fish spawning aggregation sites. There are two guiding principles that engendered success for this unprecedented conservation event. First was the broad participation of a diverse group of stakeholders, particularly the local fishermen providing their traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). The second involved the search for patterns in geomorphology and its association to the biology of exploited species. Using diverse and patchy sets of data including published peer-reviewed papers, gray literature reports from Belize and other Caribbean nations, remotely sensed images, coarse bathymetric maps, new bathymetric data collected with a single-beam sonar, and reports of fishermen from various parts of the country, we developed a conceptual understanding summarized by the multispecies promontory hypothesis, which suggests a common geomorphology of spawning sites for most large and commercially important reef fish species. An explicit test of the hypothesis is presently underway but is not the only focus of this article. This article also addresses the participatory process of geographic discovery and the role of the process in building consensus around a functional biophysical hypothesis, its test, and the resulting conservation action. A holistic, eclectic, inclusive geographic approach is offered as a successful example.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
      Keywords: Belize, ecosystem, marine reserves, participation, spawning aggregation.
      Subjects: (H) Protected Areas > (HD) Marine Reserve
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
      Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2013 09:37
      Last Modified: 30 Sep 2013 10:38
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1371

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