ArticlePDF AvailableLiterature Review

Marine Protected Areas in Sri Lanka: A Review

Authors:
  • The Sri lankan Blue Whale Project

Abstract and Figures

Despite the popularity of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a management tool, increasing evidence shows that many fail to achieve conservation objectives. Although several MPAs exist in Sri Lanka, most are not managed, and resource extraction and habitat degradation continue unabated. At present, the declaration and management of MPAs is carried out without adequate consideration of the ecology, socioeconomic realities, or long-term management sustainability. Managers have focused more toward the creation of new legislation and protected areas rather than ensuring the implementation of existing regulations and management of existing protected areas. Poor coordination and a lack of serious political will have also hindered successful resource management. As in other developing countries, MPA managers have to contend with coastal communities that are directly dependant on marine resources for their subsistence. This often makes it unfeasible to exclude resource users, and MPAs have failed to attract necessary government support because many politicians are partial toward the immediate needs of local communities for both economic and political reasons. A more integrated approach, and decisions based on the analysis of all relevant criteria combined with a concerted and genuine effort toward implementing strategies and achieving predetermined targets, is needed for effective management of MPAs and the sustainable use of marine resources in Sri Lanka.
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PROFILE
Marine Protected Areas in Sri Lanka: A Review
Nishan Perera Æ Asha de Vos
Received: 24 May 2005 / Accepted: 24 October 2006
Ó Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007
Abstract Despite the popularity of marine protected
areas (MPAs) as a management tool, increasing evidence
shows that many fail to achieve conservation objectives.
Although several MPAs exist in Sri Lanka, most are not
managed, and resource extraction and habitat degradation
continue unabated. At present, the declaration and
management of MPAs is carried out without adequate
consideration of the ecology, socioeconomic realities, or
long-term management sustainability. Managers have fo-
cused more toward the creation of new legislation and
protected areas rather than ensuring the implementation of
existing regulations and management of existing protected
areas. Poor coordination and a lack of serious political will
have also hindered successful resource management. As in
other developing countries, MPA managers have to con-
tend with coastal communities that are directly dependant
on marine resources for their subsistence. This often makes
it unfeasible to exclude resource users, and MPAs have
failed to attract necessary government support because
many politicians are partial toward the immediate needs of
local communities for both economic and political reasons.
A more integrated approach, and decisions based on the
analysis of all relevant criteria combined with a concerted
and genuine effort toward implementing strategies and
achieving predetermined targets, is needed for effective
management of MPAs and the sustainable use of marine
resources in Sri Lanka.
Keywords Management Marine protected areas
Representative areas Sri Lanka Sustainability
Introduction
Fishing and other forms of resource extraction provide
substantial economic benefits to local communities
(McManus 1997). Therefore, management of marine
resources is necessary to ensure the sustainability of such
activities for the well-being of coastal communities and
for maintaining the ecological integrity and biological
diversity of marin e ecosystems. Marine protected areas
(MPAs) have become one of the most accepted and
successful marine resource management initiatives (Bo-
hnsack 1993; Roberts & Polunin 1993), and their benefits
in protecting habitats and increasing fish stocks have been
well documented (Gell & Roberts 2003). MPAs vary from
large fishery reserves and multiple-use parks to small,
strict conservation zones and sanctuaries depending on
habitat, resources available for management, and conser-
vation objectives. The definition of an MPA is broad and
includes many coastal ecosystems, such as estuaries, la-
goons, salt marshes, mangroves, and beaches as well as
true marine ecosystems and oceanic waters. According to
the World Conservation Union (IUCN), an MPA is de-
fined as being ‘‘any area of inter-tidal or subtidal terrain,
together with its overlying water and associa ted flora,
fauna, historical and cultural features, which has been
reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or
all of the enclosed environment’’ (Kelleher & Kench-
ington 1992). As such, in addition to protecting biological
resources, MPAs may also include cultural and archeo-
logical sites, such as histor ic coastal buildings and ship-
wrecks (Zann 1996).
N. Perera (&) A. de Vos
Sri Lanka Country Office, The World Conservation Union,
53 Horton Place, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka
e-mail: boraluwa@gmail.com
123
Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738
DOI 10.1007/s00267-005-0154-x
Despite having a short history, MPAs are now proba-
bly among the most popular tools for marine resource
management (Kelleher & Kenchington 1992; Jones 1994).
They provide an opportunity to concentrate efforts and
resources into protecting representative or critical habitats
(Kelleher 1999),which is a major advantage during
ground-level implementation of management strategies
and enfor cement of regulations. Overall, conservation has
shifted from a single-purpose approach toward an eco-
system-based approach that attempts to manage human
use across a range of habitats (Stevens 2002). This pro-
vides a more holistic approach toward management than
single-purpose laws and regulations that lack practical
applicability and fail to consider ecosystem-level patterns
and processes (Davis 2003). Howeve r, although the last
few decades have seen a rapid increase in the declaration
of new MPAs (Kelleher and others 1995), they have had
limited success, especially in developing nations, where
most fail to progress from the proposal or declaration
stage to an implementation stage during which some de-
gree of management is achieved (McClanahan 1999). The
high cost of research and management and a poor
understanding and lack of support from communities and
politicians have been major obstacles toward successful
marine resource management (Zann 1996). Marine envi-
ronments are also considered as open access areas by the
majority, who often are not supportive of the designation
and enforcement of boundaries and no-take reserves. This
article provides a brief review on the history and current
status of MPAs in Sri Lanka and examines factors
affecting their management and success in achieving
conservation objectives.
MPAs in Sri Lanka
History
Acceptance and use of MPAs as a conservation tool has
been slow in Sri Lanka. Several marine and coastal habitats
located along the boundaries of terrestrial protected areas
(TPAs) have not been afforded formal protection (Table 1),
whereas some subtidal and intertidal habitats, such as
wetlands, mangroves, and estuaries, are currently protected
as part of TPAs and therefore not officially recognized as
MPAs (Table 1).
Pigeon Island (Fig. 1), currently an MPA, was first de-
clared a sanctuary in 1974 but did not incorporate the
surrounding coral reefs until 2003. The first true MPA in
Sri Lanka was declared in 1961 at Hikkaduwa in the form
of a fisheries protected area under the Fisheries Ordinance
to halt indiscriminate fishing (HSAMMSCC 1996). Sub-
sequently, the Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary (Fig. 1) was
created in 1979 and covers an area of 44.5 ha (Rajasuriya
1995). In 1998, it was declared a nature reserve, and the
protected area extended to 104 ha, after which it was up-
graded to the status of a national park in 2002 (Rajasuriya
and others 2002). This series of declarations were carried
out to provide a stronger legal mandate for management.
The declaration of Hikkaduwa was followed by the
establishment of several other MPAs around the country.
However, although several other sites were identified as
needing protection by an Inter-Ministerial Comm ittee on
Marine Parks and Sanctuaries, many have not yet been
designated as protected area s (De Silva 1985; Rajasuriya
1995).
Legislation
Currently, the major legislation used in declaring pro-
tected areas is the Fauna and Flora Prot ection Ordinance
(FFPO) of 1993, which is administered by the Department
of Wildlife Conservation (DWC). This was created pri-
marily for the purpose of protecting terrestrial biodiversity
and has provision for the declaration of protected areas.
Currently, four MPAs have been declared under this act
as marine sanctuaries and national parks (Table 2).
National parks provide the highest level of protection and
do not allow any form of resource extraction. They also
require regulation of access for nonextractive uses, al-
though this is currently not carried out within marine
national parks. Sanctuaries allow open access for nonex-
tractive uses, and limited subsistence-based resource
extraction under permit. In addition to this, there is pro-
vision under the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act
(FARA) of 1996, which is administered by the Depart-
ment of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR), to
declare fishery managed areas (FMAs). FMAs are de-
signed for the management of fisheries thr ough the
restriction of fishing effort by regulating access to a
limited number of licensed operators. To date, two marine
FMAs have been declared under this act (Table 2).
Current Status
Despite increasing recognition of the need for manage-
ment, ground-level action has not been forthcoming, and
currently, most MPAs exist only as ‘‘paper parks.’’ The
best criteria for judging the status of an MPA is the
extent to which it is achieving the conse rvation objectives
for which it was originally established (Zann 1996).
Accordingly, using the scorecard approach developed by
Staub and Hatziolos (2004), the management status of Sri
Lanka’s MPAs can be regarded as poor (Table 3). Within
these MPAs, habitats continue to degrade, and fish stocks
728 Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738
123
have decreased (Rajasuriya and others 2002, 2005; Ra-
jasuriya 2005), indicating that their declaration is not
achieving the desired objectives. Furthermore, manage-
ment is mostly limited to policy decisions and develop-
ment of management plans; there is little practical
application. Management only exists within the Hik-
kaduwa National Park, where a park office has been
established along with a resident park warden and several
rangers. This has been effective in preventing fishing and
coral mining within the MPA, although other activities,
such as reef walking, continue unabated (Table 4). The
Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary, Rumassala Marine Sanctu-
ary, and Pigeon Island National Park are presently not
managed, and destructive fishing practices, such as the
use of explosives and bottom-set nets, occur regularly
(Table 4).
Design and Management of MPAs in Sri Lanka
The declaration of MPAs in Sri Lanka has mostly been
carried out in an ad hoc manner and has tended to ignore
the practical realities involved in managing new MPAs.
Such declarations have resulted in MPAs that may be
ecologically unsustainable or difficult to manage because
of inadequate planning of management needs. The proce-
dure of identifying areas for protection and evaluating
management options involves the analysis of multiple
criteria that affect their ecologi cal and socioeconomic
processes (Fernandes and others 1999). This requires the
integration of a variety of scientific, socioeconomic, and
political factors, such as critical habitats and nursery areas
for endangered and commercially important species,
existing forms of resource use, traditional rights and
indigenous uses, and economics (Stevens 2002). Policies
based on a single criterion of evaluation, such as envi-
ronmental quality, social acceptability, or economics, are
often unsuccessful because they are unable to overcome
complex problems influenced by multiple factors (re-
viewed by Fernandes and others 1999). For example,
declaration of a no-take reserve will be unsuccessful if the
local community is fisheries dependent because their needs
must be accommodated. In such a case, there would be
considerable pressure to violate regulations, as is the case
with the Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary, where an extensive
area with fisheries-dependant communities was declared as
a sanctuary where fishin g was prohibited.
Incorporation of Scientific Data
An understanding of ecological processes is vital for
increasing management efficiency because it improves the
capacity of marine resource managers to make decisions
that result in maximum ecological benefits (Stevens 2002).
Selection of protected habitats and their legislation should
be based on scientific data that provide clear evidence of
past and current status and management needs. This pro-
vides transparency to the planning process and promotes a
Table 1 Major TPAs with marine and coastal components
Name Year Area / ha. Responsible
agency
Government
legislation
Marine and coastal habitats within
protected area
Marine and coastal habitats
adjacent to protected area
Wilpattu National
Park
1938 131,667.10 DWC FFPO Beaches, cliff coast, coastal
vegetation
Sea grass beds
Yala National Park 1938 97,880.7 DWC FFPO Beach, sand dunes, coastal
vegetation, coastal wetlands
Subtidal rocky reefs
Yala East National
Park
1970 18,148.5 DWC FFPO Beach, sand dunes,coastal
vegetation, coastal wetlands
Subtidal rocky reefs
Bundala National
Park
1993 6,216 DWC FFPO Beach, sand dunes, coastal
vegetation, coastal wetlands
Subtidal rocky reefs
Paraitivu Island
Sanctuary
1973 97.1 DWC FFPO Subtidal reefs
Chundikulam
Sanctuary
1938 11,149.1 DWC FFPO Lagoon system
Kokilai Lagoon
Sanctuary
1951 1,995 DWC FFPO Lagoon system
Great Sober Island
Sanctuary
1963 64.7 DWC FFPO Coral reefs
Little Sober Island
Sanctuary
1963 6.5 DWC FFPO Coral reefs
Kalametiva
Sanctuary
1984 2,525 DWC FFPO Lagoon, mangroves
Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738 729
123
greater degree of acceptance by resource users (Stevens
2002). However, many MPAs tend to be declared on lim-
ited data (Harriot and others 1999) as has been the case in
Sri Lanka (Table 2).
Although research and monitoring has improved during
the last decade, there are still major deficiencies in the
available data. Currently, most research and monitoring are
carried out by the National Aquatic Resources Research and
Development Agency (NARA), which is the research insti-
tution under the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
However, the scope of this agency is restricted because re-
sources are limited. Research by academic institutions and
other organizations tend to be conducted in isolation without a
cohesive approach and often fail to provide answers to spe-
cific management-related questions. At present, important
information, such as patterns of larval recruitment as well as
movement of commercially targeted fish species and their
spawning behavior, are not known. To improve management,
it is desirable to employ a more rigorous monitoring scheme
to capture all such critical information. Additionally, com-
munication between managers and researchers is poor, with
responsible agencies often failing to identify and convey re-
search priorities to researchers.
Community Involvement
Alienation of local communities has been a problem with
many management plans around the world (Diop and others
1999; Himes 2003), leading to a lack of support for MPAs
or other management interventions. MPA planners and
managers must attempt to achieve both biological and so-
cial objectives by creating compatibility between them
(Santora 2003). The incorporation of socioeconomic and
sociological factors into management plans is fundamental
for the success of MPAs (Bunce and others 1999). This is
because different user groups tend to have antagonistic
relationships with each othe r caused by competition for the
same resource (Bunce and others 1999), and no single group
is willing to make sacrifices because they believe it may
provide an unfair advantage to others. The Coast Conser-
40%
9%
51%
Rumassala
Marine Sanctuary
Pigeon Island
National Park
Hikkaduwa
National Park
Bar Reef
Marine Sanctuary
Great Basses and
Little Basses
Fishery Managed Area
Gulf
of
Mannar
Colombo
Trincomalee
Jaffna
Galle
N
Indian Ocean
Polhena Reef
Fisher
y
Mana
g
ed Area
India
Fig. 1 Location of MPAs in Sri
Lanka
730 Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738
123
vation Department (CCD) of Sri Lanka has developed
Special Area Management (SAM) plans to encourage local
community participation in decision making and manage-
ment (Ganewatte and others 1995). A SAM plan has been
developed for Hikkaduwa National Park, while another is
being developed for the Bar Reef Marine Sanct uary. As a
result, these two sites are the only MPAs with some degree
of planning and community input into management (Ta-
ble 3). However, in many instances, community participa-
tion in management decision making has been limited, and
managers have tended to ignore the suggestions and needs
of local communities in the final planning process and
implementation. Local communities also lack ownership of
resources, thus decreasing their commitment toward con-
servation. As has been proven elsewhere (Crawford and
others 2004), community-based management is most suc-
cessful where communities are empowered to be directly
responsible for management decision making and imple-
mentation. This includes enforcement of regulations
through community-based institutions that are granted legal
provisions to do so. Unfortunately, in the Sri Lankan con-
text, local communities are still dependant on state institu-
tions and mechanisms for implementati on and enforcement.
In many instances, such institutions are unable to enforce
regulations, thereby leading to a breakdown of management
mechanisms.
Education and Awareness
Support for conservation is enhanced by an educated and
well-informed public (McClanahan 1999). Decisions must
be clearly convey ed to resource users to ensure maximum
cooperation and decrease suspicion of the management
process. With the exception of Hikkaduwa National Park,
the declaration of marine parks in Sri Lanka has not been
publicized, and boundaries are not clearly demarcated.
Fishermen and the public are often unaware of the
boundaries or regulations of marine parks and are therefore
likely to violate regulations. Another major problem has
been a lack of awareness among the general public, which
does not see marine habitats and species as charismatic or
in need of conservation. An educa ted public with an
appreciation of the marine environment can lead to a
greater commitment to protect it. Public opposition to
destructive practices has been effective in terrestrial con-
servation in Sri Lanka (Raheem & De Soysa 1995), but
marine conservation fails to generate similar support.
Size and Structure
Curley and others (2002) state that understanding the
relationships between habitats and the structure of faunal
communities is essential because the former provides a
Table 2 PAs in Sri Lanka
Name Year of
declaration
Area / ha Responsible
agency
Governing
legislation
Selection
criteria
Permitted activities Prohibited activities Major habitats
Hikkaduwa
National Park
1979* 104 DWC FFPO Biologically diverse
and important
marine habitat
Recreational activities Fishing and extraction of
other natural resources
Coral reef
Pigeon Island
National Park
2003 471.4 DWC FFPO As above As above As above Coral reef
Bar Reef Marine
Sanctuary
1992 30,670 DWC FFPO As above As above
artisanal fisheries
Commercial fishing and other
resource extraction
Coral reef,
sandstone
reef
Rumassala
Marine
Sanctuary
2003 1707 DWC FFPO As above As above As above Coral reef
Great and Little
Basses FMA
2001 Unclear
DFAR FARA Management of commercially
important fishery resources
Recreational activities,
fishing with permit
Fishing
without a licence from the
DFAR
Rocky reefs
Polhena FMA 2001 Unclear DFAR FARA As above As above As above Coral reef
* Upgraded to the status of national park in 2002
Boundary of FMA has been demarcated, but area is not included in declaration
Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738 731
123
more tangible framework for designing and managing
MPAs and sustainable fisheries. The size of an MPA can
vary depending on habitat type and purpose of the area to
be protected but wherever possible must be large enough to
protect all life stages of an organism to maintain ecological
integrity (Zann 1996). This is especia lly important to
minimize human impacts because management is often
poor or absent outside park boundaries (Zann 1996). Most
MPAs in Sri Lanka are small and may not be ecologically
viable in the long-term considering the reproductive strat-
egies of many marine organisms.
Many coral and fish species are broadcast spawners,
and larvae settling within a mar ine park are often likely to
have originated elsewhere. Even species that produce
larvae at a stage closer to planulation may require larger
areas to provide adequate parent stock and suitable area
for settlement to occur within park boundaries. This is
highlighted by the fact that recruitment of many coral
species is often lower in small isolated reef areas than
larger reef systems (Harriot & Banks 1995; Soong and
others 2003). As such, conventional marine parks may not
be sufficient to protect small coral reefs (Epstein and
others 1999). In Sri Lanka, this is evident in the small
fringing reef within the Hikkaduwa National Park, which
has shown poor recovery and coral recruitment since the
1998 mass coral bleaching event compared with larger
areas such as the Bar Reef (Rajasuriya & Karunarathna
2002).
A number of fish species are also known to move
across large areas and may require larger MPAs, or a
system of multiple interconnected MPAs, to effectively
protect them (Curley and others 2002; Griffiths & Wilke
2002). Some fishes also undergo age-related changes in
diet (Gillanders 1995), leading to movements between
habitats during their life cycle. In addition, although
abundance and biomass of target fishery species is often
higher within marin e reserves, species richness and
overall abundance may be greater in nonprotected areas
(Garcia-Charton and others 2004). Considering such fac-
tors, the minimal viable size of an MPA is likely to be
larger than that of most existing MPAs and may even
require areas to be larger than that of most TPAs (Zann
1996). Designing a network of interconnected MPAs or
implementing the biosphere reserve concept (Batisse
1990) is likely to provide greater ecological integrity than
a multitude of patchy habitats that are geographically
separate from each other.
Representative Areas
Ideally, MPAs should include a variety of habitats rep-
resenting all habitat types and biodiversity of an area
(Roberts & Hawkins 2000, cited in Harm en and others
2003). Representativeness and uniqu eness are now
regarded as major criteria in designing protected areas
along with sensitivity and vulnerability (Zacharias &
Gregr 2005). The conservation significance of a protected
habitat depend s to a large extent on its similarity to other
habitats in the region, and an MPA will not adequately
represent local biodiversity or fulfill its conservation
objectives if significant habitats existing outside the park
are poorly represented within its boundaries (Bucher and
Hartley 2004). Although attempts are being made to
incorporate habitats not represented within existing pro-
tected areas into new MPAs (Stevens 2002), man y con-
tinue to be biased toward threatened or high-profile
species and habitats (Day and others 2002). Subsequently,
important habitats remain outside park boundaries al-
though they may be unique or biologically diverse.
Additionally, because many habitats are ecologically
linked to one another, incorporating a variety of habitats
Table 3 Management success of MPAs in Sri Lanka*
Assessment criteria Hikkaduwa
National Park
Pigeon Island
National Park
Bar Reef
Marine
Sanctuary
Rumassala
Marine
Sanctuary
Great and Little
Basses FMA
Polhena
FMA
Important threats and the policy environment 62 23 27 23 8 15
MPA design and planning 64 7 29 7 7 7
Availability of management resources 57 21 14 7 21 14
Management approach 44 4 24 4 0 0
Implementation of management programs and
actions; delivery of products and services
23 0 10 0 0 0
Management outcomes and achievement of
objectives
15 7 7 7 7 7
Total 40 10 18 8 6 7
* Based on the scorecard approach by Staub and Hatziolos (2004)
732 Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738
123
Table 4 Management of Sri Lankan MPAs
Name Major Issues Current Management Level Recommendations
Hikkaduwa National Park Uncontrolled tourism, pollution, sedimentation Poor; signs declaring protected
status are on display; DWC
office established and park
warden present on site;
management plan has been
developed and multiple use
zoning carried out; however,
patrolling is minimal and
effectiveness of management
is low
Effective patrolling, inclusion of MPA
boundaries on signs and establishment
of visitor centre for education and
awareness
Pigeon Island National Park Uncontrolled tourism, fishing,
collection of ornamental
species
None; there are no DWC personnel
assigned to manage this site
Establish DWC office with a ranger on site
who can educate visitors and enforce
regulations; display signs declaring protected
status and boundaries, and initiate collaborative
management with tourist boat operators
Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary Overfishing, use of destructive
fishing gear
None; there are no DWC personnel
assigned to manage this site
Establish DWC office and assign several rangers,
due to extent of site, with patrol boat to enforce,
regulations; clearly demarcate sanctuary borders,
and initiate multiple use zoning and educate
resource users on relevant zones*
Rumassala Marine Sanctuary Overfishing, use of destructive
fishing gear, collection of
ornamental species
None; sanctuary is under the purview
of the DWC official at Hikkaduwa,
which is approximately 20 km away
and thus not practical
Allocate a DWC ranger for management, and
education of visitors; establish signs declaring
Marine Sanctuary status and boundaries
Great and Little Basses FMA Overfishing, use of destructive fishing gear None; Unlicensed operators continue
to fish, and there is a lack of capacity
within the DFAR to enforce regulations
Streamline procedure for issuing fishing permits and
restrict numbers of fishermen; monitor fishing effort
with assistance of Navy
Polhena FMA Uncontrolled tourism, collection of
ornamental species
None; unlicensed operators continue
to fish, and there is a lack of capacity
within the DFAR to enforce regulations
Establish DFAR presence with regular patrolling
by fisheries inspectors, initiate licensing of fishermen
* Management plan developed and activities currently being undertaken as part of the SAM project of the CCD
Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738 733
123
is essential for the survival of many organisms. This re-
quires the protection of habitats such as mangroves and
sea grasses, which are spawning and nursery habitats for
many commercially important fish species.
At present, Sri Lanka’s MPAs are biased toward the
protection of coral reefs, although other significant habi-
tats, such as sandstone reefs and sea grass areas, are
inadequately covered within protected areas. Sandstone
reefs constitute a unique, biologically diverse and extensive
habitat type in Sri Lanka (O
¨
hman & Rajasuriya 1998;
Rajasuriya and others 1998) and are also important fishery
areas as are sea grass habitats. Extending the boundaries
and management objectives of coastal TPAs or near-shore
MPAs to include conservation of adjacent near-shore
marine environments may be a first step toward a more
representative system of MPAs.
Multiple-Use Marine Parks
Zoning marine parks into a network of multiple use areas
by designating different zones for different uses has been
practiced to minimize conflict between user groups while
promoting conservation. The Great Barrier Reef Marine
Park is considered one of the best examples of multiple-use
zoning incorporating a variety of uses such as fishing,
tourism, indigenous rights, and research while maintaining
the overlaying objective of conservation (Day and others
2002). In Sri Lanka, multiple-use zoning has been prac-
ticed within Hikkaduwa National Park (De Silva &
Rajasuriya 1985) by demarcating three separate areas for
glass bottom boats, snorkeling, and research
(HSAMMSCC 1996), but this has not been successful,
mainly because of nonenforcement of regulations. The
small size of the park is also an impediment to effective
zoning because users are more likely to trespass into other
zones, and glass-bottom boats in particular are guilty of
nonadherence to zoning plans. Larger MPAs, such as the
Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary, are better suited as multiple
use marine parks because they provide different habitats
for different user groups as well as sufficient area within
each zone to adequately cover the needs of each group.
Large multiple-use parks also tend to provide more scope
for sustainable management of human activities (Zann
1996) by allowing limited and regulated extractive uses
such as fishing (Day 2002; Davis and others 2004). This
makes an MPA more acceptable to user groups (Zann
1996), especially fishermen. The declaration of an area that
allows extractive uses within a marine park often allows
better regulation of such practices and opportunities to
limit fishing effort while ensuring the continuance of
important livelihood activities.
Interagency Collaboration
Management of marine resources in Sri Lanka is hindered
by the sectoral approach of many government agencies
(Rajasuriya 2003). There is often little interaction amongst
organizations, resulting in delays, and management deci-
sions are often based on departmental priorities rather than
overall conservation objectives. Currently, national parks,
sanctuaries, and nature reserves are declared and managed
by the DWC, which is under the purview of the Ministry of
Environment and Natural Resources. However, FMAs are
declared and managed by the DFAR , which is under the
Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources. Additionally,
SAM projects at selected coastal sites, including several
MPAs, are implemented by the CCD. This leads to over-
lapping responsibilities (Rajasuriya 2003), and individual
organizations are often unwilling to take responsibility for
management, especially with regard to enforcement of
regulations. Such overlap also occurs with legislation,
leading to confusion among both resource users and
enforcement authorities. For example, marine species
protected under the FFPO and FARA are inconsistent,
again because of the lack of interagency collaboration.
Creating an environment that enables successful coop-
eration among all organizations is essential to increase the
efficiency of each organization and the overall manage-
ment process (Shamsul Huda 2004). In addition, better
partnerships between government agencies, the general
public, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, the
scientific community, and local communities are needed
because governments alone are unable to effectively
manage resources (Dight & Scherl 1997).
Management is further com plicated because of impacts
of numerous nondirect activities conducted outside MPA
boundaries that come under the jurisdiction of organiza-
tions not involved in marine resource man agement. Land-
based pollution and sedimentation are often the result of
poor land use practices and are beyond the scope of marine
resource mangers. A more integrated approach is required
to overcome this problem and manage such issues at the
point of origin rather than the point of impact. Currently,
integrated coastal management remains a concept with
little evidence of practice.
Implementation
Most Sri Lankan MPAs have been declared without ade-
quate consideration of suitable management options or
their practicality. McClanahan (1999) sees this as a com-
mon phenomenon, where the success of some MPAs leads
to the creation of others in the hope that they will even-
tually succeed. In Sri Lanka, two new MPAs were declared
734 Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738
123
in 2003 by the DWC despite the evidently poor manage-
ment of Hikkaduwa National Park and nonexistence of
management within the Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary. At
present, the two new MPAs are not managed, and
destructive practices, including the use of illegal fishing
methods, continue unabated. As such, it would be useful to
first establish proper management in existing MPAs and
control resource extraction outside their borders before
declaring new MPAs (McClanahan 1999). Managers seem
to believe that the declaration of a protected area alone
would deter destructive practices, although many such
practices are illegal regardless of whether they are carried
out within or outside an MPA. Such is the case with the use
of dynamite and bottom-set nets for fishing in Sri Lanka.
Where management options have been identified, delays in
implementation have lead to changes in the ecological and
socioeconomic situations at the site, rendering such options
ineffective. In Hikkaduwa, a major management plan was
developed in 1996 (HSAMMSCC 1996) but is yet to be
fully implemented. Continued degradation of the reef
(Rajasuriya & Karunarathna 2002) and an unregulated in-
crease in the number of glass-bottom boats operating
within the park (Rajasuriya 2003) since then has meant that
the original zoning and management plan are not practical.
Crawford and others (2004) suggested that despite
problems, there is often some degree of compliance in
protected areas compared with nonprotected areas. This is
not the case in Sri Lanka, and many MPAs, in particular the
Great and Little Basses FMA and the Bar Reef Marine
Sanctuary, have experienced an increase in destructive
practices and habitat degradation following their declara-
tion (Rajasuriya 2003; Rajasuriya and others 2005). Sur-
veillance and enforcement are essential to maintai n the
integrity of an MPA (Davis and others 2004) because the
attraction of short-term economic gain provides sufficient
incentive for illegal activities to continue. Although man-
agement should not be overly dependent on laws, ensuring
that regulations are enforced is vital to maintain equity
among resource users and promote best-use practices. It is
inevitable that conflicts and grievances will arise through
enforcement of regulations as MPAs attempt to restrict
access to resources and areas that many have traditionally
considered to be unrestricted. However, equality in the
distribution of benefits and sacrifices made, and fairness in
the procedures of the enforcement authority, can eventually
increase the level of compliance by resource users (Sutinen
& Kuperan 1999).
A lack of a concerted effort and political will to
implement management actions is probably the single most
contributory factor leading to the failure of management
initiatives in Sri Lanka. Partiality in law enforcement and
political interference in the legal process have been cited as
major factors in the breakdown of marine resource man-
agement in Sri Lanka (Rajasuriya 2002). Unfortunately,
many politicians tend to be sympathetic toward resource
abusers while ignoring those whose livelihoods are nega-
tively impacted by such activities.
Long-Term Sustainability
According to McClanahan (1999) developing nations
sometimes tend to declare MPAs in the belief that they will
attract donor funding to carry out management. Such
funding is often not forthcoming (McClanahan 1999) be-
cause it constitutes a long-term commitment, and many
complexities are involved in the implementation of man-
agement recommendations, resulting in numerous non-
functional MPAs. Another major problem is that
transaction costs, in the form of developing management
plans, consultancies, studies, and meetings, account for a
high proportion of the total cost of most management
projects, and there is little funding for implementation,
which eventually leads to the failure of such projects
(Sumalde 2004). In Sri Lanka, although many projects
have focused on developing management plans at great
cost, there is no clearly defined funding source for imple-
menting such plans and covering such costs on the long-
term. Resources provided by projects, such as buoys, signs,
and patrol boats, often are not maintained and as such
become idle and unusable after a few years, as has been the
case at Hikkaduwa National Park. Therefore, MPA man-
agers must additional ly identify sources for long-term
financing to ensure management sustainability (McClana-
han 1999). In general, the lack of resources is a major
hindrance for management in Sri Lankan MPAs. Only
Hikkaduwa Nati onal Park has any notable implementation
of regulations, and all MPAs fare poorly in achieving
overall management objectives (Table 3).
Conclusion
Major factors impeding successful MPA management, such
as poor enforcem ent, lack of interagency collaboration, and
inadequate research, exist throughout the developing world
(McClanahan 1999). Increasing demands from marine
conservationists have resulted in an often ad hoc declaration
of MPAs throughout the developing world (Roberts &
Polunin 1993), but in man y instances, these MPAs have met
with stiff resistance from local communities and have failed
to achieve any conservation objectives. The protection of
habitats has often been a result of limited access due to
location or other reasons rather than effective management.
In Sri Lanka, this was most evident in the Ba r Reef Marine
Sanctuary, where military restrictions becau se of a civil
conflict resulted in restriction of fishing activities for several
Environ Manage (2007) 40:727–738 735
123
years. However, successful MPAs in areas such as Indo-
nesia (Crawford and others 2004), the Philippines (Tongson
& Dygico 2004), the Cook Islands (H offmann 2002), and
East Africa (McClanahan 1999) have shown that despite
numerous difficulties, effective MPA management is pos-
sible in developing nations. In all developing countries, the
direct dependence of local communities on natural re-
sources makes conventional exclusion practices, such as no-
take reserves, impractical. However, during the last few
decades, the policy has shifted toward reserves where lim-
ited or benign extraction is allowed (McClanahan 1999).
This provides an opportunity to eliminate destructive fish-
ing practices, which are often the major cause of habitat
degradation and overexploitation.
Habitat protection thr ough well-designed and efficiently
managed MPAs is essential to prevent the continuing
degradation of Sri Lanka’s marine environment and fishery
resources. A new approach toward marine resource man-
agement combined with a greater politica l will is needed if
this is to become a reality. Unfortunately, many current
managers tend to ignore past initiatives, leading to repeti-
tion of past mistakes and subsequent failure of new man-
agement initiatives. Hikkaduwa National Park has been the
focus of a number of management plans during the last
decade (Nakatani and others 1994; De Silva 1997; Raja-
suriya and others 2002), but this has not resulted in a de-
crease in destructive activities, such as reef walking.
Frequent changes often lead to confusio n among user
groups as well as a lack of intere st and poor complianc e,
and such modifications, combined with poor enforcement
of regulations, are major reasons for the failure of marine
parks (Gell & Roberts 2003).
Managers must reasses the criteria and processes under
which protected areas are declared and base decisions on
scientific information to develop more practical manage-
ment plans with achievable goals. Applied research tar-
geted at answering management-related questions, and
improved administrative capacity with greater collabora-
tion at all levels, are needed for a more holistic approach to
management. Well-managed MPAs can lead to significant
improvements in habitat structure and increased fish stocks
both within and outside park boundaries (Ashworth &
Ormond 2005; Gell & Roberts 2003). In the long term,
such results can lead to increased acceptance of MPAs by
local communities who see tangible benefit s through im-
proved and more consistent fisheries that serve as valuable
trade-offs for proactive participation in management.
McClanahan (1999) pointed out that management is most
difficult during the initial stages and that MPAs are often
successful if managers are able to overcome the first hur-
dles. However, poor management, as is the case in Sri
Lanka, hinders the success of MPAs and the ability to
demonstrate such long-term benefits to resource users,
thereby decreasing community support for resource man-
agement in the fut ure.
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Sri Lankan and South Indian fishermen have been using the Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar waters for a long period. Nevertheless, after signing the maritime agreements in 1974 and 1976, Indian fishermen encroaching Sri Lankan waters with the usage of bottom trawlers (banned in Sri Lanka) has been a serious issue (which worsened since the cessation of the ethnic conflict in 2009). This article reviews the legal framework in Sri Lanka addressing illegal fishing methods and operation of foreign fishing boats with suggestions for law reformations. Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act No. 2 of 1996 (as amended) enacted by the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) describes the types of fishing gear (including bottom trawling), fishing methods and harmful material (e.g., usage of explosives) that are prohibited, while describing the penalties for any violations. Fisheries (Regulation of Foreign Fishing Boats) Act No. 59 of 1979 (as amended) also enacted by the DFAR prohibits fishing by foreign boats in Sri Lankan waters (without a permit from the DFAR) with provisions to impose penalties for violations. However, in the Fisheries (Regulations of Foreign Fishing Boats) Act it is not indicated regarding the type of fishing gear, methods and harmful material that are prohibited (with or without any permits), while there is no specific penalty system for usage of banned fishing gear, materials and methods. Hence there is a requirement to reform the existing laws with proper law enforcement and regular monitoring of illegal fishing.
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Spatial distribution patterns of coral reefs are maintained by a magnitude of chemical, physical and biological factors. Being a small continental island in the Indian Ocean, the extent of coral reef habitats around Sri Lanka has been limited and patchy showing unique, regional distribution patterns owing to these factors. However, the available data on these factors are sparse and outdated hindering proper management implications of these coral reefs. Here, we use remote sensing data on coral reefs in providing a framework to formulate hypotheses about the ecological processes governing these spatial and temporal patterns of coral reef distribution around the country. The results explained that the coral reef habitats around Sri Lanka are mostly shaped by the variation in nutrient levels (phosphate, nitrate and silicate), annual variance in sea surface salinity, mean current velocity and bathymetric shape. The study identified four unique coral reef areas around the island owing to variations of these factors; east coast reefs, south coast reefs, west coast reefs and north/northwestern reefs around Jaffna peninsula and Gulf of Mannar. The predicted Maximum entropy distribution models for the coral reef habitats of Sri Lanka revealed a significant amount of coral reef cover around the island (~2739 km 2) which might deplete by ~4% in another 30 years due to changes in these factors. The highest amount of loss will be in the west coast (~17.76%) and least amount of loss will be in the east coast (~5.54%). The current research aids in understanding the reef ecology around Sri Lanka and provides implications for marine ecosystem management and conservation planning.
Chapter
The marine protected areas (MPAs) have become essential to counteract modern pressures to marine biodiversity and the endurance of fisheries. Subtle environments, containing coral reefs, estuaries and mangroves, have been successfully sheltered in large MPAs, which control marine human supply use. Securing these areas from pollution and physical destruction by fishing gear is a significant function of MPAs in tropical and temperate regions. In the present chapter, a short review of the existing MPAs in the countries bordering the Arabian Peninsula was given. In this review, the management point of views were highlighted. In some countries in the question, it appears that a number of MPAs were planned to start their work, but they were still non-functional. The existing MPAs need to be looked after, and a regular survey should be made to check the performance of these areas. For Iraq, which has no MPAs, needs plans to establish them as soon as possible especially after discovering coral reef area inside the marine waters of this country. Selected examples of the management of the MPAs were given in the third section of this chapter to play as a lesson for the countries bordering the Arabian Peninsula to get benefit of.
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Sumber daya ikan karang (SDIK) dari salah satu ekosistem tropika wilayah pesisir yang sangat produktif, namun hingga kini belum diketahui stoknya, sehingga menyebabkan pengelolaan berkelanjutan sulit dilakukan,meskipun kawasan konservasi perikanan (Daerah Perlindungan Laut, DPL)sudah banyak didirikan. Tujuan kajian ini adalah mengetahui keefektifan DPL dalam konservasi SDIK di Kabupaten Biak-Numfor, dan Supiori melalui pembandingan stok SDIK dalam bentuk densitas ikan (ekor/m2) di DPL dan di luar DPL. Hasil kajian menunjukkan bahwa SDIK (ikan Target, Indikator dan Mayor) menurun drastis hampir di semua lokasi kajian, akibat pemanfaatan yang tidak ramah lingkungan pada 1995, 2001 dan 2010-2012.Perbandingan densitas SDIK di luar DPL pada 2010-2012 dan di 20 lokasi DPL tradisonal yang didirikan masyarakat di wilayah kerja Coremap LIPI pada 2008 menunjukkan bahwa densitas SDIK ikan Target, Indikator dan Mayor di DPL masing-masing lebih tinggi 3-4 kali, 3-5 kali dan 2-3 kali. DPL tradisional terbukti efektif mengkonservasi SDIK, oleh karenanya pendirian DPL perlu terus dilanjutkan di banyak lokasi, seperti target pemerintah yang akan mendirikan 20 juta ha DPL hingg 2020. DPL yang telah ada juga perlu dipantau dan dirawat secara periodik agar efektif mengkonservasi SDIK. The reef fishes resources produced from one of productive tropical ecosystem in the coastal zones have not well known yet. Thus, it is difficult to conduct sustainable management on reef fishes, desipite there are many sanctuaries (DPL) have been established in Indonesia waters. This paper aims to assess the effectiveness of DPL in the Biak-Numfor and Supiori Districts by comparing the reef fish stocks expressed as fish density (individuals/m2) between areas inside and outside DPL. Results show that the reef fish stocks (Target, Indicator and Major group) were drastically decreased in almost of study sites due to over exploitation and environmentally unfriendly fishing practises during 1995, 2001 to 2010-2012. Comparison of reef fishes density between outside DPL in 2010-2012 and inside of the 20 locations of traditional DPL established by local communities in 2008 within the Coremap LIPI working areas indicated that the density of reef fishes are 3-4, 3-5 and 2-3 times higher for Target, Indicator, and Major fish groups, respectively. Traditional DPL proves its role and its effectiveness as one of conservation tool to increase the reef fish stocks abundance Threfore, it is needed to estabish more DPL which have been targeted by government to reach 20 million ha of DPL by 2020. The exsisting DPL should be always be maintained in order they are effective in protecting the reef fish resources.
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The Solitary Islands Marine Reserve (30 degrees 18' S, 153 degrees 30' E) is the site of the southern-most extensive coral communities on coastal eastern Australia, It has been hypothesised that lack of successful reproduction or recruitment of corals limits the distribution of corals at high latitudes. In this study, coral recruitment patterns were examined for 4 locations within the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve, Hard coral recruitment rate at the Solitary Islands (6.7 recruits per plate pair) was less than rates reported from similar studies at both the Great Barrier Reef (44 to 242 recruits per tile pair) and at Lord Howe Island (48.5 recruits per tile pair). Recruitment was spatially variable both within and between locations, and there was seasonal and inter-annual variability in recruitment success at 1 site. Recruitment of hard corals was dominated by planulating species, consistent with predictions made from coral recruitment patterns at Lord Howe Island, and in contrast with most previous studies of Pacific reefs. At the 2 most offshore islands, coral cover was dominated by Acropora sp., but the density of acroporid recruits was extremely low, suggesting that this taxon may be reliant on sporadic recruitment from northern sites. In contrast with tropical sites where coral recruitment in shallow water is most frequent on downward facing surfaces or crevices, corals settled abundantly on the upper-most surface of settlement plates at most sites. The difference in settlement orientation is possibly because of: (1) reduced light at high latitudes; (2) a reduction in herbivore abundance at high latitudes; (3) competition for settlement space on lower surfaces with abundant temperate species such as bryozoans and barnacles.
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Marine resource management and related stakeholder conflicts have been clearly defined in recent decades as pressing issues worldwide. This article provides a comparative study of the management regimes of the Gulf of Castellammare Fishery Reserve and the Egadi Islands Marine Reserve in Sicily, Italy. What managers in these two reserves have neglected to include in management is a social science evaluation scheme to ensure the development of more effective overall management. This is a significant problem in both Italy and the rest of the Mediterranean, where few sociocultural and economic studies have been conducted. Using data collected with standard anthropological field methods, analysis was conducted on how artisanal fishers are impacted by reserves, the extent of their knowledge regarding regulations, their opinions on management, and demographics. The results indicate that while fishers in the two case studies are all aware of the marine reserves where they fish, most fishers are not well informed of the associated regulations. Fishers feel alienated from the management process, and would feel more comfortable with reserve managers and regulations if they were involved in management. The article concludes by showing how such data could help to develop more useful and practical management practices in both these and other MPAs with similar problems.
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Patterns of rocky reef fish assemblages (composition and relative abundance of species) were examined to provide data on the design of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which aim to protect these organisms. A hierarchical design was used to investigate changes in fish assemblages at scales of metres to kilometres along-shore, and among reef habitat types within two 10-km areas on the central coast of New South Wales, Australia. Influences of physical and biological attributes of a reef on assemblages of fish were also examined. The greatest variation in fish assemblages occurred at scales of 2–6 km along-shore. Eighty percent of species recorded were found within a 6-km section of coastline. The most predictable differences in assemblages were found between reef habitats (urchin-grazed barrens, Ecklonia forest and sponge habitat), and between depths. Marine Protected Areas should ideally incorporate all available habitats over the entire depth range at which they occur. This may require MPAs larger than 2–6 km, or multiple MPAs that have been specifically located to include these features, as representation of habitats was found to vary at scales of kilometres to tens of kilometres along shore.
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Fisheries on coral reefs are highly complex, can be very productive, but typically have little or no management. Use of marine reserves has been suggested as an approach. Protective management potentially has several important benefits including protection of spawning stocks; provision of recruits to replenish fishing grounds; enhancement of catches in adjacent unprotected areas through emigration; minimal requirement for information on biology of stocks; and ease of enforcement. We evaluate the evidence available to test whether reserves function as predicted on theoretical grounds. In general, field studies from widespread sites around the globe support predictions of increases in abundance and average size of fishes in protected areas. However, evidence for enhanced catches in adjacent areas is more limited. Protective management appears to hold much promise for low-cost management of reef fisheries. -from Authors
Article
The Senegalese government is establishing a strategy of multiple use within its coastal protected areas, with community participation in its management. This ongoing study is based on the identification and analysis of natural and human effects on Saloum Biosphere Reserve (Senegal), which is also a Ramsar Wetland area. This article points out a few nonrestrictive orientations for integrated management of the protected area and its surroundings. The main objectives of the current management plan are: a permanent monitoring process of the natural resources, training and information about the positive effects of a sustainable conservation strategy, setting up strategies that could improve the living standards of local communities, and promotion of an institutional framework for better management of the biosphere reserve with all actors' participation.
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Movements of five warm-temperate, sparid reef fishes were studied on South Africa’s Agulhas Bank by mark–recapture. A small proportion (7.4%) of recaptured Petrus rupestris had moved distances of 200–1000 km towards adult aggregations along the east coast. Movement patterns of non-migratory P. rupestris and the other four species were, in spite of scale differences, remarkably similar: most individuals (57–93%) did not move, with the remainder demonstrating displacements that were tiny when compared with distributional ranges. With the exception of Argyrozona argyrozona, which moved offshore with growth, movement was not related to fish size, sexual maturity or time at liberty. Travel range lengths (TRLs) – the radius containing 95% of displacements – were 21 km for Chemerius nufar, 13 km for Chrysoblephus laticeps, 7 km for Chrysoblephus gibbiceps, 14 km for non-migratory P. rupestris, and 15 km for inshore/juvenile and 49 km for offshore/adult A. argyrozona. A minimum reserve length of 45 km is estimated (based on the TRLs) for South Africa’s inshore warm-temperate reef ecosystem. Of the eight no-take reserves protecting this habitat, one is 64 km and the rest are between 3.5 and 25 km. There are no marine reserves protecting adult A. argyrozona and P. rupestris because these are largely found offshore of present reserve boundaries.
Article
Protection, conservation, and development of coastal resources of Bangladesh are being pursued by a number of agencies on narrowly defined subject-matter specialization like agriculture and fisheries. Coastal resources, however, have competitive uses and need to be approached holistically. A Program Development Office set up to start the preparatory work for an ICZM program commissioned an institutional review of 15 agencies most intimately connected with activities in the coastal area to assess their institutional capacity to take part in an ICZM program. The actual performance of one of the top-ranked organizations under review was further evaluated by drawing upon case materials from five completed multisector projects in which it was the lead agency. The case study revealed that institutional capacity was a necessary but not a sufficient condition for successful joint execution of multisector programs. Organizations tend to cooperate in a multisector program only when they are given full control over the management of their own components. Any arrangements short of that will not yield the desired result. An integrated approach needs to be formalized in a manner that allows each agency to maintain its independent status while at the same time allowing it to carry out its activities within a commonly agreed framework. This model contains the elements of an institutional design for carrying out an integrated coastal zone management program in Bangladesh.
Article
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Marine Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Sulu Sea, Philippines, is an offshore marine protected area well known throughout the scuba diving community for its coral reefs and marine diversity. To address the perennial problem of park financing, the Tubbataha Management Board developed a fee collection and permit system in cooperation with the diving community. A willingness-to-pay survey conducted among divers in 1999 showed that the average diver was willing to pay U.S.$41 per visit. Using these results, a two-tiered pricing scheme was developed for foreign and local divers. After two years of fee collection, the total fee collected amounted to U.S.$65,000, which covered 28% of the annual recurring costs and nearly 41% of the core costs to protect Tubbataha. The experience shows the contribution of willingness-to-pay surveys in instituting user fees for long-term sustainable financing.