Assessing ecological changes in and around marine reserves using community perceptions and biological surveys.

  • Villager’s support for a reserve does not necessarily depend on strong evidence from fish surveys.  Villager’s perceptions are affected by a wide range of information sources and managers seeking  to enhance local support should tap these information sources. 
  • It is important for managers to create inexpensive and effective monitoring methods that use a  diverse range of data sources because each monitoring system has different strengths and  weaknesses. 

Engaging communities towards sustained indicator development, monitoring and evaluation of MPAs in the central Philippines.


  • First impressions matter: When engaging local communities in the monitoring and evaluation  (M&E) of no(take marine protected areas (MPAs), marine resource managers must first build trust  and develop relationships.
  • Communities with a history of MPA development and/or an active village council (or similar  grassroots organization) tend to be more easily engaged in M&E activities than those without. 
  • Women can play an important role in M&E initiatives, and gender must be factored into the  program design to ensure equal opportunities to participate.

A geography of rights: Accessing places, and securing rights and claims

  • Social factors such as ownership may create unequal access to fishing. 
  • Social and ecological use of areas can influence MPA placement. 
  • Villagers feel they have the right to ecological knowledge, and the right to participate in MPA rule  making. 
  • Managers should be aware of ownership structures and the rights to which villagers feel entitled,  so as to understand villager participation in MPA management. 

Keeping seahorses and pipefishes in aquaria

Project Seahorse recognizes that a sustainable trade in syngnathids for the public aquarium market has a role to play in the conservation of seahorses and pipefishes (syngnathids). All consumers of syngnathids need to be mindful of the considerable pressures being placed on wild populations through habitat change, incidental capture in non-selective fishing gear, and direct fishing...