A rapid socioeconomic assessment of fishing, watersports, and hotel operations in the Montego Bay Marine Park, Jamaica and an analysis of reef management implications

A rapid socioeconomic assessment of fishing, watersports, and hotel operations in the Montego Bay Marine Park, Jamaica and an analysis of reef management implications

Primary Country: Jamaica
Ecosystem: multiple
Sample Value Estimates:
  1. US$1.13-$1.70 million per year: Total annual income for fishers in Montenego Bay Marine Park
Region: Americas
Data source: World Resources Institute. 2011. "Coastal Capital Literature Review: Economic Valuation of Coastal and Marine Resources in Jamaica". Washington DC: World Resources Institute.

Publication information

Bunce, L. Gustavson, K. “A rapid socioeconomic assessment of fishing, watersports, and hotel operations in the Montego Bay Marine Park, Jamaica and an analysis of reef management implications” The World Bank, 1998

Addtional Notes

coral reef/socioeconomic assessment/Montego Bay/Jamaica/fishers/watersports/hotels/coral reef management

Due to their global and localized ecological, economic and social significance, the degradation of coral reefs throughout the world has made reef management an important contemporary focus of coastal zone management. During the past decade, reef management practitioners and theorists have become increasingly aware that to successfully manage these fragile resources sustainably, it is not only important to consider the biological and ecological conditions that determine system structure and processes, but also to understand the social and economic conditions, contexts, and motivations that are associated with their use. Rapid ecological assessments have provided a cost-effective means to gain necessary biological information to assist with management strategies, and have been particularly critical for developing nations which have limited management strategies and human and physical resources on which to focus coral reef management efforts. Similarly, rapid socioeconomic assessments offer a means of quickly and efficiently evaluating the social and economic basis of the various user groups whose activities are affecting coral reefs and are, subsequently, the focus of management efforts. However, due to the relative infancy of research considering the socioeconomic context of reef management, socioeconomic criteria specific to evaluating activities affecting reef resources are only beginning to be explored. To date studies have focused on issue-specific research and on the development of standard indicators for assessing the socio-cultural basis of reef uses. Yet, there is a lack of research on developing rapid quantitative and qualitative techniques for assessing both the social and economic bases of reef uses. This study seeks to fill this gap by developing a methodology for conducting rapid socioeconomic assessments of coral reef user groups. This methodology was applied to a site specific case study, a rapid socioeconomic assessment of the three primary user groups of Montego Bay Marine Park, Jamaica: fishers, watersports operators, and hoteliers. The utility of this methodology was demonstrated by considering the management implications of these findings for Montego Bay Marine Park. The socioeconomic basis of reef-related activities within Montego Bay Marine Park, including fishing, watersports activities, and hotel operations, were examined and the management implications of these activities evaluated during a six week field period in January-February, 1998. Through document and database analysis, interview with individuals representative of their user group, and participation observation of user activities, data on the following socioeconomic variables were collected (i) characteristics of the user groups' activities

(ii) characteristics of the user groups themselves

and (iii) users' perception of reef management. In addition, scoping meetings and telephone surveys were conducted with representative individuals from each user group to discuss major concerns with respect to future management of the Montego Bay Marine Park, specific actions proposed by the users to address these concerns and the role of each user group in the future management of the Park. Analysis of the socioeconomic background of the user groups highlighted several socioeconomic factors with management implications, specifically: 1) patterns of use: 2) the level of dependence on the resource

3) the cultural value of reef activities

4) ethnicity

5) relations within and among user groups

6) the nature of indirect links to the Montego Bay community

7) the level of awareness and concern for the resources: 8) relations with the Montego Bay Marine Park

and, 9) the nature and extent of resources of use to management efforts. Fishers (subsistence or small scale commercial) average yearly individual net income US$3,000 TO US$4,500. Translates to total net income of US$1,134,000 TO US$1,701,000. No information was presented on watersports operators income

This study reports on the results of interviews with three user groups: fishers, watersports operators, and hoteliers. Various socioeconomic elements were compiled and reported.

Montego Bay Jamaica

Coral Reef

Fishing, Watersports and Hotel Operation

Original data collection.

1997

Fishers (subsistence or small scale commercial) average yearly individual net income US$3,000 TO US$4,500. Translates to total net income of US$1,134,000 TO US$1,701,000. No information was presented on watersports operators income in this study. This information cannot be easily separated from hotel revenue. The same is true of the hotel industry.

None.

The data were collected through five principal means: document and database analysis, interviews, focus groups, a telephone survey, and participant observation.

This incorporated a "Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA)" methodology. This study did not purport to estimate market or nonmarket economic values.

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Fishers, Watersports operators, Hoteliers.

Interviewees were representatives of or knowledgeable of the different groups. They are not a stratified sample. Of the fishers, 9.3% (35 of 378) of the population were sample were sampled, for watersports operators, 5.5% (11 of 200), and for Hoteliers, 0.09% (6 of 6400).

Peter C. Wiley

Information provided when available, for more information please visit the original database or PDF.