Community Management Plans

Communities analyse their fishing practices and develop community-owned plans to introduce appropriate actions and conservation measures. This is supported by awareness raising programs as well as technical advice. The strategy is based on 3 principles; maximum participation, motivation rather than education and demand-based process. Communities should be convinced that they have the primary responsibility to manage their own marine environment and not the government.

  • Keeping the process simple
  • Respect local customs and protocols
  • Provide motivation
  • Make use of traditional knowledge
  • Use science to support community objectives
  • Adopt a precautionary approach
  • Suggest alternatives to the over-exploitation of resources

Local knowledge has often been underestimated however; most communities have an acute awareness of, and concern for their marine environment. These views should be considered when developing management undertakings. The success of community consultations depend on the facilitators. Facilitators should be equipped with the appropriate skills such as cultural, traditional, confident, encouraging individuals to give their opinion and good listeners than teachers. Facilitators should never dominate discussions or express their opinions – neutrality is of key importance. Awareness materials and programmes should consider its target audience, how it is delivered and who the message is aimed. Sometimes messages are defensive when interpreting the local situation. Community has ownership or assumed control over the managed area or fishery.