The Perceived Benefits of Marine Protected Areas by Fishers in Batangas, Philippines
The study investigated the perceptions of fishers on the relationships between catch, fish sizes and the attitudes of fishers towards marine protected areas (MPA) along the coasts of coasts of selected municipalities of Batanagas Province in the Philippines, their benefits, their benefits to fisheries, and the attitudes of local fishers towards MPAs. Data and information from a select group of 209 fisher respondents from the selected MPAs that represented young MPAs (0-5 years since establishment), moderate (10-15 years since establishment) and old MPAs (more than 20 years since establishment). young, moderate and old MPAs. The catches and fish sizes reportedly dropped after MPA establishment at locations with young, moderate and old MPAs. Nevertheless, attitudes of fishers towards MPAs were positive especially at locations with long-established MPAs. Tourism-based livelihoods accounted for the positive attitude of fishers towards MPAs at the young and old MPA sites where tourism was better developed. At least 65% of the respondents from the young MPA and 35% of the respondents from the old MPA sites were engaged in tourism-related activities.