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Ale Paniagua

I believe that the model methodology expressed in the paper can be a valuable tool when creating new protected areas to explore different possibilities that includes the people of the area to protect both the local and the natural resources. When authorities prohibit a practice that is a substantial pat of a local economy, locals tend to look at this agency as an enemy rather than an ally, therefore I believe the best way to address conservation policy is with the help and input of locals. Getting locals involved in the conservation project allows them to care for the project and actively take a stand to protect the natural environment knowing it will be for the best. This will only happen if locals derive explicit benefits that equal or surpass the negative effects of the conservation efforts. This is why learning about the needs of the local population and factoring them in a model could prove to be an effective way to evaluate the best conservation practices. A great example is the olive riley sea turtle egg harvesting in Ostional beach in Costa Rica. Locals harvested the sea turtle eggs in this beach, which greatly depleted the population of turtles. After the creation of the Ostional Wildlife Reserve, egg harvesting became illegal, thus damaging the local economy. This led to the illegal harvest of eggs, which prevented the sea turtle population from improving and was detrimental for the society creating tension between the locals and any form of authority be the police or the reserve. With new management, the reserve decided to work with the locals and create grants that allowed locals to harvest turtle eggs to a certain extent. This program allowed the reserve to monitor and regulate the amount of turtle eggs that were being harvested. Upon later research the local economy benefitted and allowed the community to invest in education centers for the caring and protection of sea turtles. Biologists also monitored the olive riley sea turtle population and since the grants were created the population started to increase and has currently reached a healthy size. This is a great example of how conservation movements, working sustainable with the local community can ensure that the local economy is not damaged and for the protection of the natural resources. If a model was sued to evaluate the possibilities of creating a reserve, maybe the local community would have not suffered at the beginning.

Megan Axelrod

This article reminded me of lessons from economics we learned in the first week of class, that it is possible to conceive what should be done in theory but realistically it is much more difficult. The model methodology is an interesting start into determining how best to handle conservation efforts. The article made it clear that once the “desired Steady State Fish Stock” was found then it was possible to determine the appropriate level of livelihood projects; however, that is currently difficult to find. Without being able to discern that level it is impossible to find the appropriate level of enforcement versus livelihood project. This is a recurring theme in our readings where private citizens and environmental groups have differing views of optimal cost. Similar issues arose in Economics of Social Issues when we discussed ideal methods of reducing poverty. For example, different political parties have very different views on the ideal level of education intervention. Incentive alignment can go a long way in those scenarios to ease the transition and ensure interests are being protected.

Jerry Qiu

This paper presents an interesting dynamic relationship between the consequences of enforcement and livelihood projects. One point that the paper touched on yet does not offer an explicit explanation is the management issue. Unsupportive local management can be a great limitation towards the development of intervention program. If people do not see the necessity for a change, any attempt to introduce a new, unknown alternative would most likely to fail. Also, Ale raised a good point of reducing adversary between the government and locals with an example of Costa Rica. However, in the case of countries like Tanzania, the lack of financial resources on local and national scales could be another problem for intervention. Especially for local business, setting up a monitoring system is both expensive and has no short term economic benefit. This is also mentioned in the paper. On top of that, this paper does not take the impact (both economic benefits and burdens) on local tourism, probably because it is not studying a tourism-attracting country. However, I do think it is worth studying that how local sustainable tourism markets react to the intervention of MPAs in countries like Barbados and Belize.

Zebrina Maloy

After reading this week’s paper, I was reminded of Mark Dowie’s “Conservation Refugees”, where he spoke extensively about how environmental conservation in countries has an inherent effect on the indigenous people of the land. When parks and other protected areas are created, native people are often displaced from their homelands and have to build a new life in an area that may be completely foreign to them. Environmentalists and conservationists are beginning to realize the drastic effects their environmentally conscious efforts often have on the people who originally lived in those particular areas. This week’s reading addresses a similar topic about how locals are affected by Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Tanzania. What I really appreciated about this reading was how the potential impact, inconsistencies and conflicts that are arising with the MPAs were addressed in the paper. Villagers who are affected by MPAs may be in favor of, opposed to or indifferent to the areas that are created for protection and the rules that are also implemented. Locals’ reactions can work in favor of the MPAs purpose of safeguarding the fish stock to allow them to recover if villagers choose to obey the regulations and comply with the changes. Or, natives will find a way around these rules by illegally fishing or breaking gear regulations, which will be a set back in the process of recovering the local fish stocks. It is vital that these complications are pointed out and addressed so that we can begin to find solutions to make sure that these areas are being protected and that locals’ needs are also being met so they are more willing to comply. Studies, such as this one, provide us with significant information about the effects of projects for environmental protection has on native people’s lives. This way we can implement future projects that ensure that environmental resources are being protected and that locals satisfied with the changes.

Charlotte Keesler

This article chooses to analyze MPAs from a more social perspective in the framework of economics. This is an interesting approach because it considers the actual success of the restrictions imposed by MPAs as a function of the incentives of the local population. The article stresses that the actions of the fishermen are dependent on the management of the MPA, and whether or not the costs of ignoring the law outweighs the benefit of continuing to fish illegally. The authors found that the actions of the fishermen change with the slightest difference in policy implication. For example, the rolling nature of the gear exchange creates inequities and early cooperators bear more of the economic burden. This incentivizes fishermen to not try and swap their illegal gear for the regulation fishing equipment, because then they will be put at a disadvantage in relation to their fellow fishermen. Also, the switch from nets with small mesh size immediately to 5 or 6 inch mesh was a mistake, because it caused fishermen to catch almost no fish at all, and therefore revert back to illegal fishing gear. One man used to use regulation size net and then switched to using his mosquito net because he “can't protect against malaria when you are hungry”. These two small details show that management of the MPAs has to pay close attention to detail when implementing the restrictions, so that the local fishermen do not suffer so much that they choose to ignore the new rules completely. Compromise is better than no change at all.

Danielle Hurley

Of the numerous take-aways from this article, what stuck with me was the clear necessity for separate disciplines to work together, especially in these conservation situations as this one concerning MPAs in Tanzania. As Alejandro mentioned, well-intentioned policies that require peoples to alter their behavior may not sit well and the officials and/or authorities imposing these changes may be seen as an “enemy.” While there are many facets to the tense atmosphere that tends to develop between the two parties, these researchers definitely highlighted a huge chunk. As previously mentioned, this policy is well-intentioned. It is aiming to provide the natural environment, in terms of the fish population, some well-deserved attention in response to the anthropogenic exploitation that has occurred in this area which has led to a diminished, unhealthy population. However, while those living on and near the coast of the bay turned MPA are not being forced to relocate, they are being displaced in another sense. The villagers unwilling to trade in their gear and fish legally are choosing to do so, perhaps, not necessarily because they directly oppose the effort that creating the MPA supports but because they are doing what is in their best interests and, really, to survive. The latter is emphasized by a quote from a villager, previously mentioned in a comment before mine, in which “[a Tanzanian fisherman] undertook gear exchange but now uses his mosquito net to catch fish because he “can‘t protect against malaria when you are hungry” (24). Therefore I find the researchers’ detailing of the inequity of the policies and regulations to explain the behaviors of villagers according to their proximity to the bay versus agriculturally productive land completely logical. A first look at this MPA initiative has me sighing with a ‘finally, the natural world was considered rather than solely the interests of the human population.’ Yet, it’s still not quite right. This time, it was just the fish and man was left behind to struggle. Had individuals, such as the authors of this paper, been consulted regarding the best way to successfully implement an MPA so as to promote the fish population without detracting from the livelihood of the individuals who depend on the fish, diminished population or not, in that bay, have known only to fish from that bay, and have few options other than the fish in that bay, the plan could have had more promise. Coming up with a conservation plan and telling fisherman they cannot fish anymore and to become farmers will not work in anyone’s favor if parties do not work congruently to ensure that these fisherman have the necessary skills and resources.

Matt Hedberg

This paper brings to light the concepts we learned in class today, but obviously to a more real-world level. One of the most interesting things I found in the paper was the differences in the size of the tradeoff, or sacrifice, made by certain villages compared to others. Some villages who depended mainly on fishing for their livelihoods made massive sacrifices (or broke the rules). Other villages, like the ones who depend mainly on agriculture, made much smaller sacrifices. When making our models in class, this inequality in trade-offs isn’t always apparent. I thought this paper did a great job of highlighting those differences.

It’s also interesting to see the trade-offs work on different time scales. When we draw models in class, the results of a trade-off seem immediate. In the real world, however, it can take years, decades, or even centuries for a resource to be replenished. In this case, rewards, or the livelihood projects, are given to all. In exchange for that reward, however, some villages had to give up much more than others. On a short-term scale, these returns are unfair. On a long-term scale, however, they may be better for those who sacrificed more for the reward. Just like the example of Perth, Australia, in class today, an economy that depended on fishing accepted the consequences of their overharvesting and took measures to fix the problem. Now that the problem has been fixed, profits are higher than ever and risks are lower than ever. Perhaps the Tanzanian villages that depend on fishing the most can benefit in the long term in the same way.

Xiaoxiang Yang

This research paper not only provides many valuable information on the economics about the Marine Protected Areas, but also raises several very interesting ideas. For example, the author creates a model to study the effects of three different programs (1. Changing fishing technology, 2. Using law enforcement to prohibit fishing activities, and 3. Introduce alternative agricultural activities) on fishmen's behaviors and the economic welfare of those villages. I am really surprised to see how the author is able to simplify such a complex system and analyze some qualitative results. Therefore I think this paper introduces some very useful analysis tools for studying MPAs. However, one of the doubt I have regarding this research is whether or not the author simplify this situation too much. For example, when he tries to study the effects of those programs on different villages, he differentiate those villages simply by their locations. But I suspect there are many more factors that can possibly influence the results, such as the villages' equipment and technology endowment, the population composition, and etc. And also when he concludes that the law enforcement can only eliminate the mixed or agricultural villages from fishing, but have little effects on the fishing-only villages, he can also try to provide more reasons for this phenomenon, or develop subsequent researches to test this hypothesis. At the end of the paper, after discovering the limitations of these three programs, he can also try to suggest some alternative ways to improve the sustainability of the MPAs without damaging the welfare of those villages.

Michael DeMatteis

To me, it seems as if the paper presents an experiment used to articulate simple socio-economic principles. The results showing that those who desperately rely on fishing as practically their only form of well-being, outweigh the benefit of continuing their current catch amounts with the risk of being fined for illegal activity. This seems to be rather common sense to me. If the fine received for fishing illegally is less than the profits they could receive by fishing the new legal way, then why wouldn't they fish illegally? Then gradually those who do not rely largely on fishing or those that live further from the coast, would not find the risk of fishing illegally as worth doing so they would adopt the new initiatives. Perhaps the fine associated with illegal fishing is not high enough to entice those who rely on fishing to adhere to the law but I think the real problem is that the regulations are simply to broad and I think this is the main point of the paper. I believe the most interesting and useful item that the paper points out is that environmental regulations, even beyond fishery regulations, are not meant to be all-encompassing. The paper shows that an all-encompassing regulations does very little to nothing to solve problems. In order to see a solid adherence to regulation and a positive result from the regulation, then the policy makers must act on an extremely local social and cultural level. This is what I find to be so complicated with environmental regulation. The fact that so many people use the environment in different ways and rely on certain components more or less than others do, creates such variety that a mono-regulation could, quite simply, never possibly accomplish an efficient amount of positive returns. All together, I believe the paper accomplished an excellent socio-economic analysis and achieved an interesting result but maybe one different than was originally intended.

Andy Roberts

The models detailed in this paper are successful at identifying the basic factors affecting economic decision making for residents of poor rural countries lacking a diversity of employment opportunities. Yet, what was of particular interest to me was the protocol for gear exchange. I do appreciate the long term goal of an increased average size of fish in the bay and the overall possibility of a revitalized ecological system. But, it is hard for me to believe that the majority of villagers are concerned with anything other than their short term well-being. That being said, this issue of how the efforts of the villagers are being allocated is suitably addressed through the issuance of fines and other income-generating projects. While this wasn't mentioned in my section, in the comments above, Matt refers to the overharvesting of fish in Perth and that remediation has led to gains that are higher than ever. But, I do not see the merit in comparing the economies of Perth and MBREMP purely based on the relative opportunities available outside of fishing in these two locations. This study sets a clear framework for developing increasingly detailed models that incorporate more specific characteristics of an individual village. With further quantification of factors affecting villagers choices for time allocation, this model would undoubtedly be sufficient in maximizing both environmental resource stocks, as well as human well-being.

Sarah Michalik

Earlier in the term we discussed the pros and cons of command and control policies vs economic incentives. This paper also looks at this issue, though not as we did in class. Upon reading the introduction, I found it odd that the park only employed six park rangers to conduct regular patrols and enforce policies in such a large area. In class, we had discussed how commond and control policies can only be effective if those in charge have the means to enforce them. However, after reading the results of this study this choice made more sense to me. The researchers found that a certain amount of enforcement (what they refer to as a "stick" policy) will increase the amount of cooperation with the policy. However, once the amount of enforcement rises too high, many of the villagers stopped fishing all together. This had a negative effect on the welfare of the villages.The researchers pointed out that this reaction was likely due to the disproportionality of the fine to the catch.I would be interested to see if the model determined through this case study could be used to determine the optimal number of park rangers.

caroline hutchinson

Marine Protected Areas are an incredibly interesting concept to protect biodiversity because they also try to compensate for the potential labor costs that may have a devastating effect on workers in the areas being protected. As we discussed in class, change will not arise in conservation, especially in areas of over fishing or over harvesting in general, unless incentives are put into place to ensure that the "losers" in the situation do not lose their entire sources of income. However, although some compensation is offered, this article discusses the problems that arise with especially low-income and impoverished areas. For most of the members of these locales, their only source of income is the fishing industry or associated and equally damaging pursuits. The article states that this potential problem is especially harmful when the depleted stocks of fish in the MPA is low before the helpful and population stimulating effects of the MPA protection have set in. However, it is clear that simply expressing that if practices are changed there will be no more fish in the future to those in the MPA areas is not enough. To encourage them to change their ways, MPA incentives must be expertly placed. Some of these incentives as detailed by the paper are working to provide other means of livelihood and income and engaging in fishing technology that generates income. Both of these allow the former fishers to have a sustained source of income rather than just paying them off to accept the MPA parks which is more effective and beneficial for both parties long term. This is an example of "conservation by diversion" which I believe is especially effective because it benefits the environment greatly while also taking care of the low income communities that are greatly affected by a lack of available fish or the ability to fish. Although there are many issues with this, such as in fish only communities, I think that this practice is the best possible option, especially over moratoriums on fishing, to control over-fishing.

Caitlin Kaloostian

Although I commend the management of the Mnazi Bay Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park on its intentions to provide for sustainable fishing practices and permission to fish within the protected bay, I can’t help but show concern for the villages that depend on fishing as an important resource. In the paper, I noticed the MBREMP not only focuses on sustainability, but also that of the people’s economic welfare. However what worries me is the fact that villages where fishing is least important have benefited from livelihood projects while the livelihood projects in villages where fishing is truly important fail to compensate for the loss of legal access to the fishery. To be honest, I don’t see how fishermen in canoes with small nets can equate to more pressing matters concerning commercial fishing enterprises. I agree with the gear exchange program, where small mesh nets are traded for larger mesh nets, but I fear benefits to induce compliance can only go so far when someone’s livelihood is on the line, especially if they have family to provide for. If sustainability is to be attained for the long term, all villages in question need too be on equal footing.

Matthew Moore

I thought the application of the 'carrot' and 'stick' economic principles to MPAs was extremely fascinating. One concern that I have even after reading the paper is the seeming placement of burden on the local fishermen. Are the local fishermen the ones responsible for the need to declare an MPA, or are larger companies to blame? It seems unfair that if large corporations overfished the area that local fishermen seemingly pay the greatest price. I also have a few questions about the promising 'carrot' incentives. By declaring an MPA, the government forces a high opportunity cost to the locals, especially the villages that are heavily dependent upon the area for livelihood. I would be interested in discovering who pays for the incentives, and if occupational retraining is sometimes required. In addition, might it also be necessary to pay for relocation costs if the declaration of the MPA has a long expected lifespan?

Jeb Bland

This paper explores the very interesting trade-off between short term financial benefits and a variety of long term benefits (that don't exactly fit into that category of "financial"). This issue, as the paper indicates, is primarily a problem in small fishing based communities whose citizens have few options other than fishing and agricultural work. The paper uses a model to determine the effectiveness of different types of policies enacted to ensure a MPA. They basically fall under two different categories: 'stick' and 'carrot' incentives. The 'stick' incentives (i.e. enforcement by fine) was shown to have the greatest impact on the reduction of fishing; however, it also lowered the overall wellbeing of the community. Perhaps this short term dip in livelihood is compensated for in the future when the fish stocks are repleted, but I must ask, is it worth it? If a long time fisherman is now forced to earn his keep in the field, are the short term economic burdens that he endures truly compensated for in the future? In a MPB-MPC sense, I would argue that no, he is not compensated. The social benefit of enacting and enforcing an MPA may far outweigh the social cost, but I believe that it comes at the expense of the small fisherman, who cannot afford to change his line of work.

Rachana Ghimire

I agree with Matthew that the ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’ methods were interesting in the paper. I believe that providing incentives would work much better than trying to enforce a policy for the local fisherman. Trying to enforce a policy in a place that does not necessarily want the policy in place probably would not have favorable outcomes for the local fisherman. Instead, providing economic incentives could help meditate the problem. However, as many people have already stated, I worry about the local fisherman even with the economic incentives. Matthew brings up a good point: Who is at fault for the low number of fish in the seas? In developing countries, it is often the case that outside companies come in to exploit the resources and leave. I’m not necessarily saying that this is true for this individual case, but it is important to remember that developing countries may not necessarily like the limitations that they are put with when they don’t exactly know what they have done wrong. Furthermore, it is important to remember that fishing may be a way of life for these people, and it is imbedded in their culture. Providing a few economic incentives would not necessarily be able to change opposition if there is some. I think that in order for an MPA to be successful and for the local people to be on board with it, you need to someone from the local side to explain what is happening and why. The paper pointed out that the people that were cooperating from the start felt that it was unfair because there were still people fishing illegally. While there will always be some outliers that do not necessarily follow regulations, it is important to ensure that most everyone is on board with the policy or even the ones that were on board at first will tend to oppose regulations. I also think that it is important to consult the local fisherman and find out what they think about the policies and regulations. Getting the local fishermen’s viewpoints would help when figuring out the best way to handle the situation to where you can try to maintain the fish populations while keeping the local people happy as well. After all, it is their way life that is being affected by the regulation, and it only seems fair that they have a say in what happens as well. Another question that I have is that what level of economic incentives would work in order to get local fishermen on board. Simply providing new technology and nets may not be enough if fishing is a big aspect in their livelihoods. The paper suggests that we should look at each individual village as they have different responses to different regulations, and I completely agree with that. Each village probably has a different set of norms, so regulations need to be adjusted to account for all this. I think, though, that this paper offers some insights about Tanzania that would provide vague insights for what may work in other developing countries in the world facing similar issues.

Tommy McThenia

Economics can generally be summer up as "incentives matter". this paper acknowledges this fundamental idea and fills a hole in the existing literature. I felt the model itself was solid and outlined the incentives in a clear manner. The technological incentive, the changing net sizes, was interesting. For a poor fisherman, is the legality of their livelihood a meaningful concern, and it should it really be? We talk about firms being profit maximizing and that is their clear objective, but i was uncertain what the returns to labor were being measured as in this instance? I assume it is food yields, but i don't know if we can equate that to profits. This is the only form of sustenance for these people, and i feel that the weighted importance of fishing is higher for the villagers than for a profit based enterprise (which we are undoubtedly trying to proxy for).

Thinking of the examples we discussed in class with Perth Australia vs. Boston, it is all the more amazing to me that Perth decided to accept the fishery limitations. Game theory or a prisoners dilemma would suggest it is in my best interests to always fish, b/c if I don't then someone else will and the number of fish will be fewer. The article concludes that the effectiveness of these MPA's depends on the availability of alternative livelihood projects. The gap in welfare between alternatives and the original fishing seems like the key factor to measure. The opportunity cost drives the decision.

To me, this article suggests that maybe we should be looking at ways to strongly positively incentivize alternative livelihoods in these key fishing areas, rather than just imposing negative incentives to fish.

Ram Raval

To begin, I believe that the very purpose of this article is admirable in itself. Indeed, as the article stated, there is very little research that exists in exploring the impacts of conservation techniques on the livelihoods of rural populations. While it is easy to dismiss the consequences on rural populations by citing incentivisation through introduction of alternative methods for livelihood and supplying of new technologies, it is admirable that this article performs actual involved research to determine the real impact on rural societies impacted by Marine Protected Areas.
Along with the premise of the article itself, I also thought it was very interesting that the article included the probability of being caught as a factor in whether or not individuals followed fishing restrictions. Additionally, prior to reading the article, I was unaware that fishing was allowed in Marine Protected Areas given that restrictions on technology and other aspects are followed. Finally, I thought that the article was well-done in that it acknowledged the differences between the effects of the policies introduced on fishing villages, agricultural villages, and mixed villages. In this respect, the article went through satisfactorily thorough measures in determining the impact of the policies researched.
In regards to critiques of the article, I agree with Matthew in that it is a little odd that the article seems to place a great burden onto the local populations that do not seem to be the main contributors to the problems of overfishing and marine habitat degradation; nevertheless, I think it is also important to note that the article’s purpose is to examine the impact of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on local populations. As a result, to my knowledge, it seems as though the MPAs are meant to prevent harm done by large-scale fisheries, but in doing so, they inadvertently harm local, small-scale fishing operations. While this is my understanding of the article, I also do not know what large-scale fisheries are operating in southern Tanzania.
Apart from this, I also found room for improvement in that the new “technology” provided to the villages hurts the fishing capabilities of the villages, which leads them to consider the opportunity cost of utilizing these technologies versus being fined for illegal fishing. Ideally, it would be much more effective for both marine preservation and the livelihood of the villages to craft new technologies that are both friendlier towards the marine environment and more effective in yielding useful catch. In my opinion, technology that does not have negative consequences on villagers would be the only way to provide effective progress. Secondly, the implementation of bee-keeping and fishponds as alternative sources of livelihood seem to be overly simplistic in remedying the phasing out of fishing in villages. Fishing, whether it is the main source of income for the village or not, has been a mode of living for centuries, and there is something to be said for this. Fishing has been done for a reason because it is an effective means of living, so it seems fairly reckless to simply change an established way of life so suddenly. Also, the options of bee-keeping and fish ponds proposed do not seem like sustainable industries that can adequately replace fishing. In my opinion, this alternative livelihoods approach could be improved by researching further and finding better alternatives. With all of this being said, though, the article does a great job in thoroughly exploring a rarely considered topic.

Nina Preston

I agree with Jeb when he questioned the short-term losses accumulated by the villages most dependent upon fishing for their livelihood. With the implementation of the MPA the villages of the park were forced to change their labor inputs and economic concentrations in order satisfy the demands of external governmental policy. Although the movement to protect the local bay is noble in its attempt to secure ecosystem stability by protecting fish stocks and biodiversity, the economic demands introduced to the local villagers essentially demands a a change in social behavior. The reduction of fish catch as a result of the gear exchange -providing nets too large to catch local bay fish- and the fines associated with illegal catches are sources of frustration for local populations. The largest complaint of the villagers was their difficulty using the large nets to sustain their way of life. Although the managers argue that long-term benefits will come from using larger nets because they will yield larger (more valuable) fish, the livelihood projects are not a sufficient supplement to the losses occurred on the short-term new gear usage. Another important comment comes from Kahn’s Chapter 11 argument of utility. If the local fishing community consists of utility maximizers, the fishers are seeking to enjoy working on the water and continuing the lifestyle of the generations before them. The utility of the local fishermen is potentially greater than profit maximization; however utility is not included in this method.

Matthew Inglis

Like others have pointed out, although well-intentioned initiatives look to change problems faced such as the small mesh fish-nets, they are extremely difficult to implement. In terms of this social policy, fishermen do not have the economic incentive to make the switch. Why would one switch a net if it means decreased yield? The only real reason then becomes an environmentally conscious mindset, so unless the fishermen are concerned about sustainability over profit, the net switch is simply a novel idea. Hence, the main burden is placed on the early adopters. The 5-6 inch nets of course decrease yield. The punishment of the regulation is worth the ability to continue using the smaller mesh nets. As the initiative realizes this and changes the new nets to a much smaller 3-inch mesh, then it makes the difference less noticeable. As a fishermen, the costs and benefits must then be reevaluated. Suddenly, yield is not as decreased since the mesh is only slightly larger. Also, the punishment for continuing to use the old nets may now outweigh the benefit of using the old nets. This combination of net switches and regulation could work, however, it does not seem like the most appropriate approach. If more positive incentives in some way were implemented, then the fishermen would more likely adopt them, and the environment would benefit more.

Grant Przybyla

This article highlights many of the real world problems that many theories and plans on paper may not account for. As can be seen by this case study in Tanzania, while it is easy for one to say, “fish stocks can be protected by creating no fishing zones,” (or other marine protected areas) implementation of these ideas can be more difficult. Here, as in other places, locals are heavily dependent on these fish. While protecting the stock of fish is in everyone’s best interest in the long run, it creates many difficulties for these locals in the short run. As the article points out, incentives must be created and implemented in order to provide these locals with a new livelihood. This is where difficulties often arise. The question arises: what incentives do we provide and how?

There is no easy answer to this question. We can say, however, that these incentives must be more attractive than their alternative – in this case, fishing. Thus, these incentives must be very large in order for a population to change, in some cases, their entire way of living. I agree with the article that in these cases, the “carrot” will be far more affective than the “stick.” While the article makes progress figuring out which “carrots” work best, there is still much progress to be made in this field.

HeeJu Jang

I want to further a point that Jerry brought up in his comment. Jerry suggests that sustainable tourism can collaborate with the MPAs. This will be an ideal win-win situation for both MPA authorities and locals because they can not only contribute to preserving the marine environment but also create an alternative job market for local fishermen.

When I was in Belize last spring, I observed that a lot of locals are indeed engaged in tourism related business. However, they worked mostly as employees--local guides, scuba instructors, restaurant waiters, etc. Those who owned these business were wealthy Europeans and Americans who would bring back most of their profits back to their home countries.

In order to boost the national economy of these poor countries whose citizens depend heavily on fishery, it is imperative to provide locals with substantial compensations. I believe that these compensations should not be just monetary. For instance, the local and national government could provide job training or education program for local adults and children so that they can pursue career in either sustainable tourism or marine preservation effort. Such policies will help locals understand the importance of protecting their marine environment and reap myriads of financial benefits and thus contribute to the growth of national GDP in those countries.


I have a more general concern regarding the paper, that was kind of mentioned in comments before me.
The paper does a really good job finding out what prevents these three methods from working, but only based on economic premisses.
Only because the predictions of the model are superimposable with the experience of the actual behavior of the villages, the model does not have to be a reasonable model for reality.

I am aware that it is only a model, but the question still holds for me, if the model does not look at major influences that might be important regarding the decision of the villagers.

Especially regarding such decisions that might be strongly influenced by culture, habituation or even religion, an economic analysis might be flawed, as it presupposes rational behavior at places where none exists.

I am not arguing that every economic model is flawed. I am just saying that they might be appropriate in some cases and in some not.

Mary Frances White

While in theory this sounds really great, it may not be as feasible as it seems. I feel like it's human nature to want to see immediate results and have short term benefits, setting aside the long term consequences... especially when it comes to their personal livelihood. While the paper thinks about the economic stand poingts i feel like it does not weigh the human nature side of it as much as it should.

Philip Anderson

I think the main point of this article is that the incentives offered to these villages in Tanzania can't all be the same. Each village has their own preferences, appetites for risk and opportunity cost. Thus, while it might be logistically easier to offer all villages the same gear packages and alternative options, this will most likely cause the MDA to be ineffective. The goal of these benefits is to adjust the tradeoffs that each villager faces.

While the model itself might seem overly simplistic, it can surely be used as another reference when implementing MDAs in certain area. It provides information about how villages differ in response to incentives depending on their spatial location. The paper isn't trying to provide an answer to the entire problem of MDA implementation, It instead highlights to policy makers another dimension of the problem that should be considered. It is essentially impossible to come up with a model that does anything more than that, and is easy to criticize purely economic models such as this for not representing reality. But it is not as if the authors believe this model represents reality perfectly. The findings of the article provide another piece to this interdisciplinary puzzle of MDA implementation.

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