Enhancing Small-Scale Fisheries Management Through Community Engagement and Multi-Community Partnerships: Comoros Case Study

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Marine Policy

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Management of small-scale fisheries in developing countries is a challenging endeavor with debates over which actors are most effective. This study identifies and describes the roles of community, government, and other actors in management of small-scale fisheries in the Comoros (Western Indian Ocean). Actor roles in management as well as social perceptions and ecological indicators of management performance were investigated through stakeholder interviews and ecological surveys at 20 sites, including sites within and outside a Marine Protected Area. The weak boundaries and memberships observed in the fisheries coincided with an open access situation at a few sites, but the majority of sites maintained fisher buy-in and effective management through community engagement, horizontal networks of multi-community partnerships, and state support. This study also found that third party actors such as non-governmental organizations initiated effective management by providing environmental education, building capacity, and facilitating communication among stakeholders and community members. Further investigation of how to facilitate adoption of appropriate actor roles and foster relationships among actors is recommended to ensure effective and enduring management.



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