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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Marine protected areas in Costa Rica: How do artisanal fishers respond?

Madrigal-Ballestero, Roger; Albers, Heidi J.; Capitan, Tabare; Salas, Ariana


Costa Rica is considering expanding their marine protected areas (MPAs) to conserve marine resources. Due to the importance of households' responses to an MPA in defining the MPA's ecological and economic outcomes, this paper uses an economic decision framework to interpret data from near-MPA household surveys to inform this policy discussion. The model and data suggest that the impact of expanding MPAs relies on levels of enforcement and on-shore wages. If larger near-shore MPAs can produce high wages through increased tourism, MPA expansions could provide ecological benefits with low burdens to communities. Due to distance costs and gear investments, however, MPAs farther off-shore may place high burdens on off-shore fishers.


Enforcement; Marine reserves; No-take zones; Perceptions; Tourism

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2017, Volume: 46, number: 7, pages: 787-796 ISBN: 16547209 00447447

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Economic Geography
    Fish and Wildlife Management

    Publication identifier


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