A multidisciplinary approach in the design of marine protected areas: integration of science and stakeholder based methods

Ruiz-Frau, Ana, Possingham, Hugh P., Edwards-Jones, Gareth, Klein, Carissa J., Segan, Daniel and Kaiser, Michel J. (2015) A multidisciplinary approach in the design of marine protected areas: integration of science and stakeholder based methods. Ocean and Coastal Management, 103 86-93. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.11.012

Author Ruiz-Frau, Ana
Possingham, Hugh P.
Edwards-Jones, Gareth
Klein, Carissa J.
Segan, Daniel
Kaiser, Michel J.
Title A multidisciplinary approach in the design of marine protected areas: integration of science and stakeholder based methods
Journal name Ocean and Coastal Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0964-5691
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.11.012
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 103
Start page 86
End page 93
Total pages 8
Place of publication Bromley, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Subject 2308 Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
1104 Aquatic Science
1910 Oceanography
Abstract Different approaches exist for building a system of marine protected areas (MPAs), with stakeholder-based site selection at one end of the spectrum and science-based selection at the other. Although a combination of both approaches is typically adopted, the process tends to be dominated by one of them. However, for MPAs to be successful it is necessary that their design achieves a balance between both ecological conservation and socioeconomic needs. The present study aimed to assess, compare and integrate two different approaches to the planning process of MPAs in Wales (UK). A stakeholder-based approach and a science-based systematic approach were compared. Stakeholder priorities for the establishment of MPAs were identified during individual interviews with relevant stakeholders' representatives. Science-based solutions were developed using biological and socioeconomic spatial data in the decision support tool Marxan. A comparison of the outcomes generated by both approaches revealed that although the spatial configuration of the resulting MPAs differed, stakeholders performed well at including representative proportions of relevant marine habitats and species. The integration of the stakeholder driven approach with the science-based solution revealed that an integrated approach could be used as a tool to achieve conservation targets while simultaneously accounting for stakeholder's preferences, as the resulting integrated MPA solution met all conservation targets and was only slightly larger than the science-based solution alone. Results also revealed the potential utility of using stakeholders' knowledge as a proxy for identifying ecologically important areas when spatial data on conservation features are sparse.
Keyword Conservation
Marine protected areas
Marine reserves
Socioeconomic data
Systematic conservation planning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID ES/F009801/01
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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