Save the bay: a case study of fisheries co-management in Gökova Bay, Turkey
Abstract: Overfishing is one of the most serious problems threatening the health of the seas and local coastal communities. Marine Protected Areas with No Fishing Zones are valuable biodiversity conservation tools to ensure the sustainable use of diminishing fish stocks. Nevertheless, to be successful for long-term conservation these areas have to be monitored and rules must be enforced. Using semi-structured interviews and participant observation I analyze collective action efforts for marine conservation in Turkey, Gökova Bay. Guided by Elinor Ostrom’s social-ecological systems framework and design principles I analyze the challenges and advantages of co-management in a social setting, and its role to scale-up marine conservation. Interviews showed that traditional forms of management are not applicable in Gökova Bay and the co-management governance approach offers collaboration between small-scale fishermen, government agencies, and NGOs. However there is an urgent need for top-down steering and assistance especially regarding sanctioning and rule enforcement by the state.
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