When properly managed, marine protected areas (MPAs) serve as tools that are potentially able to deliver both conservation and fisheries benefits. This is particularly true for small-scale fisheries when fishermen are engaged in management and collaborate with MPA managers and scientists.
In 2010, the area of Karaburun and Sazani was declared as the first MPA in Albania. Two fishing communities located in different harbors operate locally, fishing outside the MPA and in its buffer zone. One fishing community is more willing to collaborate with scientists and managers, whereas the other is more reluctant.
This study quantified and compared catch composition, total catches, and CPUE between the two fishing fleets under the general hypothesis that fishermen engagement and a more collaborative attitude can lead to larger catches.
The obtained results show that on average, fishermen from the more collaborative fishing community usually deployed shorter nets within the MPA but obtained higher total catches and CPUEs than fishermen from the less-collaborative community.
The authors state that these findings, despite being inconclusive due to the limited sample size, reduced sampling period, and correlative approach, highlight the potential benefits delivered by the adoption of a collaborative approach and specifically provide a baseline for building sound management plans for small scale fisheries in Albania in the future.
Bakiu et al. (2018) Small-Scale fisheries at an Albanian Marine Protected Area: a collaborative attitude is associated with higher catches. Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science 10:527-535.