Influence of settings management and protection status on recreational uses and pressures in marine protected areas

Type Article
Date 2017-09
Language English
Author(s) Gonson Charles1, 2, Pelletier DominiqueORCID1, Alban Frederique3, Giraud-Carrier Charlotte1, Ferraris Jocelyne2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, UR Lagons, Ecosyst & Aquaculture Durable Nouvelle Caledonie, 101 Promenade Roger Laroque,BP 2059, Noumea 98846, New Caledonia.
2 : Univ Perpignan, IRD, UMR ENTROPIE, Via Domitia,52 Ave Paul Alduy, F-66860 Perpignan 9, France.
3 : Univ Brest, IFREMER, CNRS, UMR 6308,AMURE,IUEM, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Journal Of Environmental Management (0301-4797) (Academic Press Ltd- Elsevier Science Ltd), 2017-09 , Vol. 200 , P. 170-185
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.05.051
WOS© Times Cited 20
Keyword(s) Marine protected areas, Recreational users, Pressure assessment, Motivation, Recreational opportunity spectrum, New-Caledonia

Coastal populations and tourism are growing worldwide. Consequently outdoor recreational activity is increasing and diversifying. While Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are valuable for mitigating anthropogenic impacts, recreational uses are rarely monitored and studied, resulting in a lack of knowledge on users' practices, motivation and impacts. Based on boat counts and interview data collected in New Caledonia, we i) explored factors affecting user practices and motivations, ii) constructed fine-scale pressure indices covering activities and associated behaviors, and iii) assessed the relationships between user practices and site selection. User practices were found to depend on protection status, boat type and user characteristics. Pressure indices were higher within no-take MPAs, except for fishing. We found significant relationships between user practices and settings characteristics. In the context of increasing recreational uses, these results highlight options for managing such uses through settings management without jeopardizing the social acceptance of MPAs or the attainment of conservation goals.

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