Legal resource use rights

Publié: 28 septembre 2015
Dernière modification: 26 août 2016
When the National Reserve was classified, it was clearly stated that fishermen rights to use marine resources in the protected area would be upheld. Recognizing their rights from the beginning set the basis for positive interaction. Previous arrangements in Peru were key to implementing a similar scenario in San Fernando, where legal resource use rights were assigned to local management groups to carry out sustainable use activities if the groups commit to providing support in surveillance and enforcement. Moreover, the strong organization of the Fishermen’s Association was vital for the designation of specific areas where each fishermen group is allowed to harvest macroalgae. Decisions previously taken by the Fishermen’s Association were legitimized by the protected area authority. Today, fishermen groups continue to harvest macroalgae from the shores and are responsible for controlling illegal activities. This has resulted on a more sustainable use of macroalgae and other marine resources in the area.


Renforcement de la cogestion
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution
Mise en oeuvre

Enabling factors

The Fishermen’s Association was well organized before the protected area was created. This was a basic condition for fishermen to define areas where each group would be allowed to harvest macroalgae and prevent others from doing so. Technical data from the national marine research institute supported the establishment of macroalgae harvest quotas. This scientific information reduced the potential for conflicts between public officers and fishermen groups.

Lessons learned

Involving the national marine science research institute, perceived as a technical and neutral organization, to set macroalgae harvesting quotas reduced the conflicts between fishermen and the government’s protected area authority. Local fishermen can become a vital ally to control the use of natural resources if they are allocated rights to use a specific resource. Agreements need to be binding, establishing very clearly the obligations and rights that both fishermen groups and the protected area authority commit to.

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