Non-consumptive income opportunities from a Marine Protected Area
In Siquijor, communities who accept responsibility for monitoring an MPA receive income from tourism dollars, charging a fee to snorkel, scuba dive, and take photos or videos within the MPA. Another income stream is from development projects by the local natural resources agency. For example, the community receives fingerlings and bamboo to make fish cages for small aquaculture projects and can then sell the fish when they have reached market size. Providing income opportunities outside of overfishing and unsustainable marine resource use ensures that communities that are dependent on marine resources will be able to continue maintaining their livelihoods while conserving the ecosystem.
There must be tourists coming to the area and/or sustainable development projects that do not decrease water quality or remove resources from the MPA.
Some communities that were interviewed are receiving more tourists to their MPAs because they have put colorful signs along the roads to direct visitors to their beach or advertised in hotels and on boats visited by tourists. The communities were interested in developing a tourist map to highlight a specific fish or coral species in each MPA to encourage visitors to drive around the entire island and visit each beach to better distribute tourism dollars around the island.